Aurangabad, May 13 (IANS): A political row was ignited in Maharashtra after AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi paid homage at the tomb of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and later attacked state politicians, here on Friday.
Referring to the ongoing 'azan' versus 'Hanuman Chalisa' controversy at a political meeting, without taking names, Owaisi targeted Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray and urged his supporters to maintain restraint.
"Dog will continue to bark. You keep quiet, ignore them. I am not going to abuse anyone. We have a MP here and you people have been rendered homeless," Owaisi said on Thursday.
Owaisi was referring to the court-ordered demolition of around 340 illegal structures in the Labour Colony area of the city, and now the eligible homeless shall be rehabilitated under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana scheme in the same area to be renamed as 'Vishwasnagar'.
Taking strong umbrage at the oblique references, MNS' leader Gajanan Kale demanded strong action from the Maharashtra government against Owaisi for praying at the Aurangzeb tomb.
"If they don't take action, then we will do it... We shall dig his grave right beside Aurangzeb's tomb," warned Kale.
One of the tourist circuit highlights of Aurangabad, Aurangzeb's simple memorial is situated in Khuldabad, and Owaisi was accompanied by All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP from the city, Syed Imtiaz Jaleel and ex-MLA Waris Pathan among others.
Jaleel wondered what the entire fracas was about as there are many dargahs of spiritual leaders in Khuldabad and all those who come there also visit the final resting place of Aurangzeb.
BJP MLA Nitesh Rane urged Maharashtra Police to "hand over Owaisi for 10 minutes" and they would send him to the same place as Aurangzeb.
"You are challenging us... We, the Marathas have put him there, for 25 years, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj fought hima He (Aurangzeb) was not some Sufi saint," said Rane.
The BJP took the opportunity to attack the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for not acting against Owaisi who it alleged was instigating communal passions.
Veteran Sena leader from Aurangabad, Chandrakant Khaire claimed that nobody - Hindu or Muslim - visits the Aurangzeb tomb as he was considered the 'most cruel' of all Mughal Emperors, and blamed Owaisi and his supporters for politicising peoples' emotions.
"The real motives behind Akbaruddin Owaisi's trip to the tomb are not clear. We all know his earlier statements. If he had gone there to create problems in society, we shall not tolerate it," Khaire made it clear.