Hyderabad: After the year-long preparation, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has thrown its hat into the ring for the upcoming UP elections. The party has released its list of 11 candidates for the first and second phase of elections, nominations for which will begin on January 17.
The Majlis chose minority dominated Assembly constituencies in Agra, Firozabad, Shamli, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly and Amroha districts to try its electoral fortunes in the most politically significant State in the country. As of now, the party did not forge a tie-up with any political party and decided to go solo.
The candidates for the first phase of poll are Mohd Idris Ali (Agra south), Ahtasham Ali (Firozabad city), Maulana Masiullah (Kairana) and Parvez Ahmad (Koil). The second phase contestants include Junaid Ayubi (Behat), Talat Khan (Saharanpur), Haji Shahabuddin (Moradabad city), Haji Aslam Ansari (Moradabad Dehat), Israr Hussain (Kundarki), Yaseen Ansari (Bareilly city) and Shamim Ahmad Turq (Amroha city).
The party is expected to release two more lists of candidates for the remaining five phases of the polls. Shoukat Ali, party’s UP unit president, who announced the names of the candidates, said the Majlis would raise the issues pertaining to deprived communities such as Dalits, Muslims and backward classes. These sections have been treated as mere vote banks and not given their due by the parties which ruled UP.
For the last one year, Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi had been campaigning in various towns of UP despite last minute cancellation of permission for his public meetings. “At least 20 meetings were cancelled at the last moment forcing us to approach courts,” a Majlis leader remarked.
With the electoral scene warming up, Owaisi chalked out a tight schedule for UP. He will be touring the State for four days from January 13 to 16. Before that, on Wednesday, he will be visiting Mumbai to address a meeting in connection with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election.
The Majlis party has decided to press into services its MLAs, corporators and active party workers. They will be sent in teams to take up campaigning and bolster the prospects of party candidates in UP. Owaisi feels his party has a fighting chance in many constituencies if Muslims and Dalits come together on a common platform.
He has been harping about the ‘communal politics’ of Samajwadi Party government and the need to combat it. “People have experienced the rule of all political parties but now it is the time for them to give a chance to Majlis,” he says.
He ridicules the theory that Majlis presence in UP would benefit BJP and says people wouldn’t buy this argument since both the parties exploited the minorities. The Majlis foray in UP elections is primarily to fight for Muslims’ cause and to secure their rights. “If Muslims and Dalits come together they can bring a revolution in the electoral politics and re-write history,” Owaisi says.