Republic TV has accessed the audio recording of the phone call that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi was referring to when he alleged that the Congress had offered him Rs 25 lakh to not address a campaign rally ahead of the Telangana assembly elections. The phone call was between Ramarao Patel Patil of the Congress and Jabair Ahmed of the AIMIM.
Here is the full text of the conversation:
Ramarao Patel Patil: Hello. This is Rama Rao speaking. Where are you? Are you in office?
Jabair Ahmed: Tell me Sir.
Ramarao Patel Patil: Where are you? At office?
Jabair Ahmed: I just came, Sir. At home now.
Ramarao Patel Patil: At home?
Jabair Ahmed: Yes Sir.
Ramarao Patel Patil: There's no one there right?
Jabair Ahmed: I am alone at home.
Ramarao Patel Patil: Can I speak now?
Jabair Ahmed: Yes, go on. Tell me...
Ramarao Patel Patil: Maheshwar Reddy came now...
Jabair Ahmed: Ok.
Ramarao Patel Patil: Hello?
Jabair Ahmed: Yes, tell me sir.
Ramarao Patel Patil: Maheshwar Reddy came. He said will offer Rs 25 lakh... You should stop the event.
Jabair Ahmed: I cannot do this. Be it Rs 25 lakh or Rs 50 lakh, I can't do it.
Ramarao Patel Patil: How do we stop it then?
Jabair Ahmed: No, no... It cannot happen. I can't tell this to Sir. You are a good person. That's why I am speaking to you. I cannot do anything or get anything done for money.
Ramarao Patel Patil: We can send it for party fund -- wherever you want it sent.
Jabair Ahmed: No, no, no... he says do whatever.
Ramarao Patel Patil: But how will he go without (inaudible).
Jabair Ahmed: No sir, I can't do anything. I am not in that business. I don't know how it is done. If money mattered, I would have been a crorepati. The way I am in the party, the stature that I have before sir, I am content with that. I go here and there. The way Moin used to do. Congress people used to call. I turned them down. I cannot do that, Sir. Please excuse me. Even those who are going up to Sir and telling him directly are getting yelled at.
Ramarao Patel Patil: If you give the green signal? If you spoke to him?
Jabair Ahmed: Sir, for your sake, I try to cool him down.
Ramarao Patel Patil: Yes, I told them that.
He told me you don't hang around there much. Today, locals want to see my politics. My community wants to be strengthened. That's why I support you. Even today, if I just tell him that KTR sent Rs 50 lakh or Rs 1 crore for Muslims, he would leave it my hands.
Owaisi had spoken on Tuesday about being offered Rs 25 lakhs for cancelling a rally in Telangana during a public gathering in poll-bound Telangana.
"Today when this rally was happening, Congress attempted to buy Asaduddin Owaisi. This Maheshwar (Maheshwar Reddy) calls and tells a minister to stop Owaisi and I will give Rs 25 lakh in the party fund. I have the recording. This Congressman will buy me in Rs 25 lakh?! They think we are for sale for Rs 25 lakh," alleged Owaisi addressing an election rally.
Congress's Alleti Maheshwar Reddy soon denied the allegation and said that he has not met Owaisi for years.
"First, let me clarify that I have not seen Asadudddin Owaisi for 8-10 years. I do not know him very well. I never met him. In fact, last time he had campaigned here for Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), now this year he has come here to campaign for the TRS party, he supporting TRS in Nirmal constituency. Earlier, he had supported BSP. Now, he is coming with multiple ideologies and I don't know what allegations he has made against me," Reddy stated while speaking in the matter.
He also said that Owaisi made the accusation as he was frustrated.
"Yesterday, I filed my nomination in front of 60,000 people present in the crowd and today, he came here with no more than 300-400 people in his rally. He was shocked to see it first time in Nirmal, it was such a failure. So out of frustration, he must have said something which is irrelevant," said Maheshwar Reddy.
After Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu asked him to choose either BJP's coalition platform or anti-BJP coalition platform, Owaisi had said that he chose neither and his party wants 'Congress-mukt and BJP-mukt' from his state.