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Akbaruddin Owaisi says 'brethren' votes can help us win 50 Parliament seats

AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi has said his brother and party chief Asaduddin Owaisi could win 50 seats in Parliament with the votes of "our brethren", remarks seen as an appeal to Muslim voters which the BJP dubbed as "hate speech".

Owaisi was also purportedly shown in the video, which has gone viral, criticising the Modi government for the recent killing of Muslims.

He referred to the killings of Mohammed Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan and 15-year-old Junaid Khan and asked "if it is a crime to wear a cap, grow your beard and be a Muslim".

"There is no need for the sympathy, support of anybody.

Our brother (his brother and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi) can win 50 parliament seats for the party with the votes of our brethren," Akbaruddin, the MLA from Chandrayangutta in Hyderabad, was heard saying in the video.

Hitting out at the VHP and Bajrang Dal, he said: "Jitna ye mulk tera hai, utna ye mulk mera bhi hai". (This country is mine as much as it is yours).

Responding to Akbaruddin's alleged comments which were seen as appealing to Muslim sentiments, BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao alleged the MLA made a "hate" speech which could "incite" people.

Wondering why the TRS government in the state had not filed charge-sheet in the case of hate speech made earlier by Akbaruddin Owaisi, the BJP leader demanded that a police case be registered against him.

BJP would approach the Election Commission seeking cancellation of MIM's recognition, he said.

The Congress, meanwhile, accused the BJP of "misusing" people like the Owaisi brothers to "promote its agenda of polarisation and create hatred and mutual enmity in society".

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi dubbed the Owaisi brothers as the ruling party's "B-team" and put the blame on BJP's "dirty tricks department" for spreading "cheap politics".

"Let me make it clear, I have no hesitation in saying that this is yet again the BJP 'B Team' even though their name may be 'Owaisi brothers'," he told reporters in New Delhi.

"The object of this is only one - to create Hindu versus Muslim, caste versus caste, region versus region, Indian versus Indian.....and everybody versus everybody. I am shocked and aghast that the party which is in power does not have this much responsibility and stands exposed.

Every time they do so, we will expose them again," he said.