Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh my be months away, however, parties have already started training guns at each other various issues. All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday visited dargah sharif at Bahraich to pay obeisance to medieval Ghaznavid general, Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud or Ghazi Miyan.
Owaisi's visit to the dargah has now triggered huge war of words between Uttar Pradesh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP). Owaisi's AIMIM and Om Prakash Rajbhar SBSP are part of the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha in UP.
The BJP has accused the Owaisi and SBSP hurting sentiments of people. UP Minister Anil Rajbhar said that the AIMIM and SBSP alliance was an insult to the backward Rajbhar community.
"Owaisi's visit to the dargah is an insult to Maharaja Suheldev, an 11th century ruler, who is said to have defeated and killed Masud in a battle at Bahraich in 1034 AD," he said.
The minister said that the BJP government was working to restore the pride of Suheldev by constructing a memorial and installing a statue at Chittaura in Bahraich.
"The leaders of Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha have hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community who revered Maharaja Suheldev," he said.
BJP MLA from Sardhana Assembly seat in Meerut, Sangeet Som, also lashed out at Owaisi and Om Prakash Rajbhar over the issue.
Owaisi, Rajbhar hit back
SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said BJP leaders were trying to drive a wedge between the AIMIM and the SBSP over the issue of Maharaja Suheldev and Salar Masud as they feared that Other Backward Class (OBC) voters will not support the BJP in the Assembly election.
"The SBSP will contest the Assembly election in alliance with the AIMIM. We will work on Backward-Muslim and Dalit unity to win the Assembly election," he asserted.
Owaisi also hit back at the BJP leaders and alleged that the party was trying to divert the attention from the Covid mismanagement by the state government by raking up irrelevant issues.
"We are not jokers of the circus but ring masters and all will dance to our tunes," the Hyderabad MP said.
Owaisi said AIMIM will contest the 2022 Assembly election in alliance with SBSP-led Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha which would highlight the failure of the BJP government to keep the promises made during the 2017 Assembly election.
(With inputs from IANS)