Accusing the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi of "playing minority politics", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday compared him with 'neo-Jinnah'.
"As far as Asaduddin Owaisi is concerned, he is in the mainstream polity of India, so with utmost respect, I say, that in the present political scenario, I see him as a neo-Jinnah," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said while referring to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan.
"Because, this policy of playing a minority politics, this policy of instigating our Muslim brothers and sisters to break away from the mainstream is a very dangerous one and he is a repeat offender," Patra added while interacting with PTI in Hyderabad.
Patra's statement came in response to a question about the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member's comments that Muslims should only vote for Muslims.
Speaking about the Padmaavat controversy, Owaisi had earlier said that Muslims should learn from that fracas over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directorial and unitedly oppose the 'triple talaq', the BJP spokesperson claimed.
On another occasion, the MIM president had sought to provide legal aid to alleged supporters of ISIS, Patra added.
"So, of course, in the name of religion, time and again he is trying to divide the society" but people "are not going to follow suit of any neo-Jinnah. Jinnah is forgotten. Jinnah is hated", he concluded.
Meanwhile reacting strong to Patra's comment, Owaisi said, "Arre Sambit baccha hai, bacchon ke baare mein nahin bolte. Bacchon ke baap se muqabla hai hamara. Jab bade baat karte hain to bacchon ko tayein-tayein nahin karna chahiye". (Sambit is a kid. One should not speak about kids. My fight is against the father of those kids. When elders talk, kids should keep their mouth shut).
Earlier in the day, Asaduddin Owaisi triggered another controversy after he compared Emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi government in 1975 with assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, anti-Sikh riots of 1984 demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and Gujarat riots of 2002.
"One should never forget emergency, Mahatma Gandhi assassination, demolition of Babri Masjid, the genocide of Sikhs in 1984 and what happened in 2002 in Gujarat. These were earth-shaking events that happened in independent India," the AIMIM chief was quoted.
Owaisi made the comment on the 43rd anniversary of the imposition of National Emergency on Tuesday.