Suggesting an alliance with ruling Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra, AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel has said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) can become a "comfortable car" from the three-wheeled autorickshaw which can prevent the BJP from coming to power.
Jaleel's overture was rejected by the Uddhav Thackeray-led party while BJP took a dig saying such tie-up between the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party and the Sena cannot be ruled out.
Shiv Sena leader and MLC Ambadas Danve said that there is no question of allying with a party that opposes singing of 'Vande Mataram' and "runs on the thinking of Razakars"- the paramilitary volunteer force deployed in the cause of maintaining Muslim rule in Hyderabad and resisting integration into India during 1947-48.
Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said the AIMIM joining hands with NCP and Congress is immaterial for BJP.
Jaleel had on Friday said that the AIMIM was not a 'B' team of the BJP as alleged by mainstream parties and was willing to ally with NCP and Congress.
The Aurangabad MP had said that he spoke about the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen's willingness to tie up when state minister and NCP leader Rajesh Tope visited his residence on Friday.
On Saturday, Jaleel said that another wheel can be added to the three-wheeled autorickshaw of the MVA to make it a "comfortable car".
"There is no power left in them (Shiv Sena) to defeat BJP single-handedly. That's why they need the support of Congress and NCP. I propose that let's add another wheel to the autorickshaw (of Maha Vikas Aghadi) and make it a comfortable car. We have expelled the corporator who had opposed singing of 'Vande Mataram' (in the Aurangabad municipal corporation) and he joined NCP now," Jaleel, who heads the Maharashtra unit of AIMIM, told a Marathi news channel.
Danve said the AIMIM has always opposed Vande Mataram, uprooted the saffron (flag) here and planted a green one. "The AIMIM is an organisation that runs on the thinking of Razakars. There is no question of going with AIMIM," he told reporters.
Jaleel made the overtures for an alliance to NCP when state minister and NCP leader Rajesh Tope visited his residence on Friday.
"Tope visited me on Friday, days after lost my mother due to an illness. It is always alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party wins because of us (AIMIM- due to splitting of Muslim votes). To prove this allegation wrong I proposed to Tope that we are ready for an alliance. However, he didn't say anything about my offer," Jaleel had told reporters on Friday night.
Queried about the likely stand of Shiv Sena regarding AIMIM's offer, the Aurangabad MP had said the fact is that these parties want the votes of Muslims.
"Why only NCP? The Congress also says they are secular and they also want votes of Muslims. We are ready to join hands with them too. The BJP has done the maximum damage to this country. We are ready to do everything to defeat them," the AIMIM leader had said.
Replying to Danve on Saturday, Jaleel said,"I want to say that neither he nor I was born during the time of Razakars. (Shiv Sena MP) Sanjay Raut says that we bow in front of the grave of (Mughal emperor) Aurangzeb. We are in a new era and Aurangzeb is a part of history. No Muslim bows in front of any grave. He (Aurangzeb) might be acceptable to you or maybe not, but the fact is that he had ruled the country. When I asked a specific question they diverted to Aurangzeb, Razakars".
Taking a dig, Danve said that for the common people autorickshaw offers a comfortable ride.
"Shiv Sena is with common people. We need no car. The fact is that Aurangzeb looted this country and destroyed temples. What Jaleel has to say about Chhatrapati Sambhaji Mahraj? He is also part of history who had contributed for this motherland and the Hindu religion, yet AIMIM has opposed renaming Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar," he added.
Jaleel had said that AIMIM had also spoken (about a tie-up) with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh (polls), but they wanted votes of Muslims and not Asaduddin Owaisi, who heads the party.
"In Maharashtra also, these parties (Congress and NCP) want votes of Muslims but not the AIMIM. You blame us for BJP's victory. I propose that then let us contest the elections together," he had said.
Taking a dig at the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, Fadnavis said, "Will Sena and AIMIM come together? This cannot be ruled out. The Sena has started 'Azaan' competition and saying Janab Balasaheb Thackrey, hence their coming together cannot be ruled out".
He said people have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and will elect BJP to power again due to his leadership and development work.
AIMIM had won two seats in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections.(With PTI inputs)