Mumbai: Slamming the Congress for fielding Narayan Rane as its candidate for the Bandra bypoll, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi today said they would not have fielded a candidate for the bypoll if a Muslim candidate would have been fielded in his place.
"If the Congress would have fielded an Arif Naseem Khan or an Amin Patel, we would not have fielded a candidate. Didn't the Congress, that calls itself secular get a Muslim candidate to contest the poll," AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said while addressing a gathering here.
Owaisi said that Rane will blame Congress leaders for his defeat post the election and join the BJP for future electoral prospects.
"Unless we end up getting 10 to 15 MLAs in the state, we will not stay quiet," he said.
At present, AIMIM has 2 MLAs in Maharashtra.
Taking a jibe at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Owaisi said that he should first earn respect from its ally BJP and then work towards the cause of Hindutva.
"Uddhav Thackeray is a scared man. The BJP kept on humiliating the Shiv Sena after the polls.
First earn respect from your own ally and then call yourself a champion of Hindutva," Owaisi said.
"Bal Thackeray kept on telling us to go to Pakistan. Now Uddhav is saying the same, but he should realise we are here to stay forever," he said.
Owaisi said that the country belongs to him as much as it belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he will keep on speaking for the cause of the minority community even if he is put behind bars.
"Everyone should go out and vote this time. People who did not vote in the last election should now use this opportunity to select the right candidate," Owaisi said.