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AIMIM under ‘attack’ from rivals in the Old City

The assembly elections have triggered a verbal assault on AIMIM leadership by BJP worthies as well as Congress bigwigs who are throwing invectives and threatening to storm the “Old City”

Published Date – 09:54 PM, Fri – 24 November 23


AIMIM under ‘attack’ from rivals in the Old City

File Photo of AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi

News

Hyderabad: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is “under attack” from its rivals—the Congress and BJP—in Hyderabad once again. The assembly elections have triggered a verbal assault on AIMIM leadership by BJP worthies as well as Congress bigwigs who are throwing invectives and threatening to storm the “Old City.”


While the Congress leaders are alleging that AIMIM is “hand-in-glove” with the BJP, the saffron party is insinuating that the Grand Old Party is in secret league with AIMIM. On their part, AIMIM leaders counter-allege that both BJP and Congress are colluding with each other against their party. As the war of words goes on, the people are enjoying the tamasha and wondering what more would be uttered by leaders of rival parties before the campaigning comes to an end next Tuesday (November 28).

While a State BJP leader has threatened to run bulldozers to raze down “illegal buildings and shadikhanas” in the Old City, a BJP Chief Minister (who is a defector from Congress) has claimed that Hyderabad would be named as “Bhagyanagar” within 30 minutes if the saffron party gains power in the State. Not long ago, another BJP leader had warned of “surgical strikes” on the Old City. The Congress leaders are also sharpening their rhetoric to say that they would “uproot” AIMIM from the Old City, lock, stock and barrel once their party forms the government in the State.

But the sound and fury of the Congress and BJP is not likely to impact the electoral outcome in the seven constituencies of Hyderabad where the AIMIM has already done a hat-trick by winning these seats in the last three assembly elections since 2009. These constituencies have a huge concentration of minority voters, ranging between 50 to 90 per cent. Incidentally, the other parties pick up mostly Muslim candidates in these constituencies to take on AIMIM.

In the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress-TDP alliance (Maha Kutami) fielded Muslim nominees in six out of seven constituencies. BRS and BJP had sponsored two Muslim candidates each. However, the contestants of both the national parties performed poorly. The vote-shares of these parties betrayed their real position vis-à-vis AIMIM. The BJP polled between 5.66 per cent to 22.59 per cent in these constituencies and four of its candidates forfeited their security deposits. The Congress secured between 4.55 per cent to 34.98 per cent of the votes and four of its nominees forfeited their deposits. The BRS put up a nominal fight in these constituencies with its vote-share ranging between 6.17 per cent to 15.95 per cent.

On the other hand, the vote-share of winning candidates of the AIMIM in 2018 was 41.99 per cent in Nampally, 42.86 per cent in Malakpet, 49.07 per cent in Yakutpura, 52.88 per cent in Karwan, 53.36 per cent in Charminar, 67.95 per cent in Chandrayangutta and 74.26 per cent in Bahadurpura.

The reasons for dismal performance of rival parties in these constituencies are self-evident. Charminar (which was first known as Pathergatti) constitueny has elected AIMIM candidates right from 1962 till now. Yakutpura constituency has also elected AIMIM nominees since 1967, except once in 1994 when the splinter group– Majlis Bachao Tahreek (MBT)– bagged this seat. Similarly, Chandrayangutta has seen AIMIM cruise to victory in every election since the constituency was formed in 1978, except in 1994 when MBT won this seat. AIMIM has scored successive wins in 2009, 2014 and 2018 elections in Bahadurpura, Nampally and Malakpet constituencies after the fresh delimitation of the constituencies.

In Karwan constituency, AIMIM has won all successive elections since 1999. The AIMIM had won in 1967 and 1972 in the Sitarambagh constituency before it was renamed as Karwan. In 1983, AIMIM had bagged this seat. The Congress won from Karwan in 1978 and the BJP, supported by TDP, bagged this seat in 1985, 1994 and 1999. AIMIM had scored its first victory in Asifnagar in 1983 and retained the seat in 1985 and 1989.

However, the AIMIM-MBT fight in 1994 and 1999 saw the Congress wrest this seat. In 2004, the TDP won this seat but AIMIM got it back in the bypolls soon after.

The AIMIM has not looked back ever since Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi–Salar-e-Millat to generations of his supporters—won Pathergatti seat in 1962 by trouncing Congress nominee Mrs Masooma Begun, the then minister in Damodaram Sanjivayya cabinet in the assembly polls. In 1967, the Congress had shifted the then Home Minister Mir Ahmed Ali Khan in Kasu Brahmananda Reddy cabinet to Charminar to take on Salar but he also tasted defeat at the hands of the AIMIM leader.

Despite the constant efforts of its rivals to turn the tables, AIMIM has stood its ground, sending members to the Assembly in the 13 successive Assembly elections in the last six decades. In its chequered electoral history, AIMIM has fought the Congress, both the Communist parties, Jana Sangh (now BJP), Janata Party, Telugu Desam and several other parties successively and warded off their attacks. The scenario is not likely to be any different this time either.

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