The Telangana Assembly on Thursday, December 21 witnessed a war of words between Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi after the latter alleged that the Congress is trying to suppress the voice of Muslims.
Tempers ran high when Owaisi made certain remarks against Congress legislator K Satyanarayana who interrupted him during the debate on the energy sector. When the AIMIM leader mentioned the pending works relating to the electricity sector in the old city, the Congress MLA wanted to know what he was doing for 10 years when the BRS, a “friendly” party, was in power.
Irked by this, Owaisi made certain remarks, evoking strong protest from the treasury benches. “Do you think that you can cow us down after getting power after 10 years? We are not the ones to be cowed down. We fought and will continue to fight,” he said.
The AIMIM leader also recalled that the last chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy, had sent him to jail. “I went to jail five times and if I have to go again, I will go. If you want confrontation, we are ready for it,” he said.
At this, Chief Minister Revanth Reddy intervened and told Owaisi that the AIMIM can’t claim to be the representative of Muslims. He asked if AIMIM was really speaking on behalf of Muslims, the party should explain why it had fielded a Muslim candidate in Jubilee Hills constituency to defeat former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who was the Congress candidate. The CM also criticised the AIMIM for defending the BRS despite its “misrule” for 10 years.
The Chief Minister also said the Congress government was committed to the welfare and progress of minorities. Stating that the Congress appointed persons from minorities to the posts of chief ministers and the President, he remarked that there is no need for Congress to learn from anyone for minority welfare.
During the heated debate, Owaisi said Revanth's political career started with the ABVP and that he had been with the TRS, the BJP, the Congress, and the RSS. “With experience of being everywhere, he should be mature,” Owaisi remarked.
To this, the Chief Minister stated that if he starts speaking about the AIMIM, they will have a tough time. He recalled how the AIMIM had backed N Bhaskar Rao when he toppled the TDP government headed by NT Rama Rao.
The heated debate saw AIMIM members repeatedly rushing to the well of the house. This was the first time after Congress came to power in the state that the ruling party and AIMIM had a bitter exchange of words in the Assembly.