ALL INDIA Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) spread its footprints in Maharashtra after winning a sizeable number of seats in Solapur and Amravati Municipal Corporation. In Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, the party managed to put up a good show in many areas, even as the Congress and NCP blamed it for the defeat of its candidates. In Pune, Ashwini Landge of AIMIM won her seat from Panel 6 of PMC.
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The party had made its electoral debut in Maharashtra by winning seats in the Nanded local body. After that, the party had won two Assembly seats in the 2014 Vidhan Sabha polls and had won 25 seats in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation. Since its entry into Maharashtra, the party has been trying to form an umbrella coalition of Muslims and Dalits. The party had fielded candidates in both Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad after entering into an alliance with some fractions of the Republican party.
In Solapur, the AIMIM had fielded 23 candidates of which 12 won and in Amravati, the party had fielded 29 candidates of which 13 won. The AIMIM pulled 5.74 per cent of the votes cast in PMC. In some of the areas, the party’s candidates pulled substantial votes that observers said had resulted in the defeat of Congress or NCP candidates. For example, in Khadakmal Ali panel 18 B, the party’s candidate got 1,539 votes as against the Congress candidate who got 2,792 votes. The BJP attained victory in this ward by winning 2,840 votes.
The entry of AIMIM and the reasonably good performance put up by its candidates, analyst Chandrakant Bhujbal said was another reason for NCP Congress’s slide. “The consolidation of Muslim and Dalit vote banks worked against the NCP and Congress. BJP managed to get indirect benefit of the situation,” he said.
However, AIMIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel refuted all such deductions and pointed out that Congress-NCP have lost their mandate. “The non-Muslim votes of these parties migrated from these parties to BJP and that is the reason for their electoral defeat,” he said.