25/01/2016 8:22 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Vote For Me Or Forget Beef: Owaisi Tells Hyderabad

All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi, center, contesting in the parliamentary elections speaks during his campaign in Hyderabad, India, Friday, April 11, 2014. Indians voted in the crucial third phase of national elections Thursday, with millions going to the polls in the heartland states that are essential to the main opposition Hindu nationalist party's bid to end the 10-year rule of Congress party. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

NEW DELHI--Asaduddin Owaisi is no stranger to controversies. The member of parliament from Hyderabad sparked yet another controversy on Monday saying minority communities would have to stop eating beef if his party was defeated in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader asked people to vote for his party if they wanted to continue eating beef.

"If MIM is defeated in the election, I am telling you - the members of minority community will have to forget about eating beef," Owaisi told a gathering in Hyderabad, according to an India Today report.

Accusing the BJP-led government in Maharashtra of targeting poor Muslims and Dalits by banning beef in the state, Owaisi said beef exports from the country have risen by 17% since the Modi government assumed power. In March 2015, the Maharashtra government banned beef.

Owaisi had met the family of Mohammad Akhlaq who was killed by a mob in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, after they allegedly found beef at his house. The lynch-mob incident had snowballed into a political storm with several celebrities and opposition parties blaming the NDA government of rising intolerance in the country.

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