After surprising its rival political parties in Maharashtra by winning two seats in recent Assembly elections, Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is moving towards organisational expansion in Uttar Pradesh with the aim to contest 2017 Assembly polls.
Headed by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM has created an alarming situation for SP and BSP as the party had succeeded in weaning away a section of Muslim and Dalit voters in Maharashtra where it won two seats — Aurangabad Central and Byculla — and could now dent SP’s vote bank by dividing Muslim voters in the 2017 Assembly polls in UP.
AIMIM has planned to contest on at least 100 Assembly seats dominated by Muslim population. For this, it has already set up organisational units in 25 districts, among which include Muzaffarnagar, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Rampur, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Azamgarh, Kanpur.
In 44 other districts, it has started a membership drive and plans to set up organsiational units after only after having achieved the target of 500 active workers in each district. These workers will vote to elect five office bearers for their local unit. Some of these districts include Etawah, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Kannauj (all strongholds of SP), Bijnor, Mau, Barabanki, Gonda and Faizabad among others.
Along with the membership drive, AIMIM has also started holding nukkad meetings and jalsas in areas dominated by Muslim as well as Dalits. The party’s youth convener for the Lucknow unit, Shahnawaz Hussain, who attened one such meeting held on Sunday, said workers target the SP govt for not keeping the promises it made to the Muslim community such as reservation.
To further its cause, AIMIM will launch its web portal for UP unit on February 7 to facilitate online membership and then follow it up with a rally in Maharajganj on February 12. Party’s MLA from Charminar, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri along with other senior party leaders from Hyderabad, will address the rally.
Owaisi, party’s national president, will address public meetings in Bareilly on March 12, Allahabad on March 15 and Moradabad on March 22. Party UP president Shaukat Ali said these programmes are preparations for 2017 polls in which party will contest on at least 100 seats, “preferably those dominated by Muslims”.
Significantly, the UP government has in the past twice declined permission to Owaisi’s programmes in Azamgarh, to which AIMIM has responded by declaring that it plans to contest on one Assembly seat (Mubarakpur) in Azamgarh.
About the agenda for the Assembly elections, Ali said that Muzaffarnagar riots, safety of Muslims and Dalits, their education and economic empowerment will be keys issues for the campaign during which the party will target both SP and BSP for doing nothing for the welfare of two communities.