West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee purportedly likening the AIMIM to "extremists among minorities" did not sit well with the Hyderabad-based party chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who said "extremism is allowing the BJP to win 18 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal".
Addressing Trinamool Congress workers at an event in Cooch Behar on Monday, Banerjee, without naming the AIMIM, said: ""There are some extremists among the minorities. They have their base in Hyderabad. Don't listen to them. Don't trust these forces".
Owaisi hit back at the chief minister saying: "Our fight is for justice. If this reminds the CM of extremism, then extremism is that she allowed the BJP to win 18 Lok Sabha seats. Extremism is that by abusing me you are insulting the Muslims in Bengal."
He also asked Banerjee to stop "Muslim appeasement" and work towards empowering the community.
The AIMIM has been looking to expand its base outside Telangana in the last few years. The party had recently won the Kishanganj assembly seat in Bihar and two assembly seats in Maharashtra. It also has its eyes set on the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar and Jharkhand.