Special Correspondent

Hyderabad: Former Minister Bashiruddin Babukhan ridiculed the Majlis theory that BJP would emerge stronger in a separate Telangana state.

The party had been beaten back by the Congress and TDP with the result that it was now reduced to just two MLAs, he said.

Reacting to a story in these columns, Mr. Babukhan in a statement wondered why it took the Majlis so long to come out openly with its views on separate Telangana. The Majlis leader appeared to be trying for a position in the Union Cabinet and therefore posturing in this manner. Or the party wants to bargain for a ‘handsome compensation' from the Telangana leaders for its support later, Mr. Babukhan said.

He said Telangana would not benefit the Majlis further since its influence did not go beyond the borders of the old city.

Terming Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi as the ‘self appointed' leader of the Muslims, Mr. Babukhan criticised him for saying Telangana was not in the interest of the Muslims when the community had spoken in one voice in support of Telangana State.

The former Minister said the Majlis had no right to speak for all the Muslims of Telangana when its seven MLAs and one MP had done practically nothing over the years.