The Congress in Telangana has ruled out an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, PTI reported on Sunday. Instead, the party will talk to the Telangana Jan Samiti, the Communist Party of India and other smaller parties.

“A [pre-poll] arrangement with the AIMIM is out of question,” said Ramachandra Khuntia, the Congress general secretary of the state. Muslims, Dalits and other weaker sections of society have no faith in either Owaisi or Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao as the two leaders want only their families to prosper, he claimed.

The Congress leader accused Rao of dissolving the legislative Assembly nine months before its term ended in order to secure minority votes. Khuntia denied that the party had been caught off guard by the announcement. “The talk of early polls has been doing rounds especially after Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Hyderabad,” he told the Hindustan Times. “We have been saying it since then that we are ready for the polls whenever they are held.”

The Congress leader suggested the chief minister might have dissolved the Assembly after getting scared by the “response [Rahul] Gandhi received from a cross section of the population and also the response the Telangana Congress party is getting for its bus yatra”. He also accused Rao of conspiring with the Bharatiya Janata Party to dissolve the Assembly.

On Thursday, the chief minister described Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the “biggest buffoon” in the country and said the more Gandhi campaigns in the state “the more seats we will win”.

Khuntia called Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi a “party of one person and family”. The Congress, he added, was a national party and candidates were decided after deliberations at all levels of the organisation.

Khuntia said Gandhi could announce the name of the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate though the party usually desists from doing so. “The elections will be fought under the leadership of state Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy,” Khuntia added. “He will decide on the chief ministerial candidate after the elections, based on the opinion of the MLAs.”