BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy has played down the significance of Yogi Adityanath's statement about Asaduddin Owaisi being forced to flee Telangana as the Nizam fled Hyderabad in the event that the BJP comes to power in the poll-bound state.
Speaking to Republic TV, Dr Swamy offered that it was more a case of it being an election speech:
"These are election speeches. They tend to use hyperbole", Dr Swamy said, adding that "Owaisi is a citizen of India. He can reside anywhere he wants", and not forgetting to add the condition, "...unless he's running away from the law. That's a different matter."
The Rajya Sabha MP continued, "I don't think Adityanath seriously meant he will run away. We basically say these in figurative terms very often".
He proceeded to offer a cricketing analogy to back up his view:
"For example, if Virat Kohli comes to bat the Australians will run away from the field -- that doesn't mean that they'll actually run away."
Yogi Adityanath's remarks days before the December 7 elections has provoked a remarkable war of words with the AIMIM. Asaduddin OWaisi's brother and Telangana MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi hit back at the UP Chief Minister, declaring him 'lucky' for his position (as CM) and stating that he would not leave Hyderabad:
"Who came here? Today one more person came here. What kind of attire does he wear? He is the master of drama. And with luck, he became the Chief Minister also. He says he will make Owaisi run away just like Nizams. Who are you? What is your stature? Like you, many came and went, but listen, not only Owaisi but the future generation of Owaisi family will also stay in this country and fight you and will make you run. Mallya , Choksi , Modi fled to London but Owaisi came back to India from London. This country is not someone's father's property. This is my country and will always be mine. I will not leave Hyderabad", Akbaruddin Owaisi said.
Asaduddin Owaisi, meanwhile, has called Yogi Adityanath a 'zero in history' and said that nobody can make him flee the country. He has also hit back reminding Yogi of his Chief Ministerial duties:
On the other hand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is claiming that the BJP, TRS and AIMIM are in league for the elections.