The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Monday released its first list comprising 11 candidates for the upcoming state Assembly elections, also announcing a series of public meetings of party chief Asaduddin Owaisi, starting from Kairana in Shamli district on January 13. The declared candidates are contesting from Agra South, Firozabad city, Kairana, Koil (all of first phase), Behat, Saharanpur, Moradabad City, Moradabad Dehat, Kundarki, Bareilly city and Amroha city (all in second phase).
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While all these candidates are Muslims, party state president Shaukat Ali said that more will be declared for both phases very soon, and will include Dalits as well. Like BSP, the AIMIM too plans to contest the elections banking on Dalit-Muslim votes. This is the first time AIMIM is contesting general Assembly elections in the state. The party had contested a by-election in Bikapur, Faizabad, in February with a Dalit candidate, who had lost. Shaukat said the candidates had a “clean image” and had started their political careers with AIMIM.
He further said that Owaisi will be addressing an election rally in Kairana on January 13, Moradabad on January 14, Sambhal on January 15 and Saharanpur on January 19. Barring Moradabad, all districts had faced riots in 2013. The party’s state chief further said that AIMIM will inform Muslim voters that both SP and BSP have “exploited” them.