After home minister Amit Shah threw a challenge to leaders like Rahul Gandhi for a public debate over Citizenship Amendment Act, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi joined issue and wanted the former to discuss the law with him instead of others.
Addressing a rally in Karimnagar district on Tuesday night ahead of the municipal polls on January 25, the Hyderabad MP said the home minister called for a public debate on CAA with the opposition even as he asked Shah to debate with him on the legislation.
At a rally in Lucknow in support of the CAA on Tuesday, Shah had emphatically said the CAA will not be withdrawn and those protesting can continue to do so even as he challenged opposition leaders for a public debate on the amended leglislation.
Accusing the opposition of "misleading" people on the amended citizenship law, Shah threw the challenge for the debate to Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party).
Reacting to Shah's challenge, Owaisi said, "I am here.. debate with me.. why (debate) with these people.. 'Daadi wale se karo na' (Debate with a bearded man). We will talk and debate on CAA, NPR and NRC."
The CAA allows easier citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 after facing religious persecution. Muslim migrants don't figure on this list.
The AIMIM chief hit out at the BJP over renaming of places, while mentioning about the 'Halwa' ceremony ahead of the Union budget.
"The BJP says it will change names. I want to ask from where did the word halwa originate? It is an Arabic word. It is neither Hindi nor Urdu (word). now remove the Arabic word.. They (BJP) say they will (continue to) change names. Inshallah people of the country will change you," the Hyderabad MP said adding "remember I am not halwa.. I am lal mirchi (red chilli)."
Meanwhile, the AIMIM has requested the Telangana State Election Commission not to use face recognition app being used on pilot basis in the polls for urban local bodies, alleging that it would invade the privacy of the citizens, among other violations.