Andhra Pradesh

Asaduddin Owaisi sitting pretty

Majlis achieved a record of sorts by holding on to the Hyderabad seat for the last three decades

It’s one constituency nobody likes to touch – not even with a barge pole.

While intense competition is seen among ticket aspirants elsewhere, the tussle cools off when it comes to Hyderabad parliamentary constituency. Such is the stranglehold of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) here that the main political parties have problem getting candidates to contest against it.

The impressive performance of Majlis at the hustings over the years has proved that it is no pushover. In the last election held in 2009, the four-party ‘mahakutami’ launched a no-holds-barred campaign but failed to cut ice with the electorate.

The spirited fight by the TDP candidate and Siasat Editor, Zahid Ali Khan, gave some tense moments to Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi, but couldn’t dislodge him.

Today, Mr. Asaduddin sits pretty comfortable in this constituency. With the Sisast Editor deciding not to contest, the Hyderabad seat seems just a cakewalk for Mr. Asaduddin. What makes the latter’s position unassailable is the hold the Majlis has in six out of seven Assembly segments comprising the parliamentary seat.

In 2009, the Majlis won all the seven Assembly seats it contested in the city. It, however, lost the Rajendranagar seat in Ranga Reddy district. The party is expected to do a repeat performance this time, too, since there are no formidable opponents.

The Majlis has achieved a record of sorts by holding on to the Hyderabad seat for the last three decades.

Late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi held this seat for a record six terms. He wrested it in 1984 from K. Prabhakar Reddy of TDP and went on to retain it in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. He trounced BJP’s Badam Bal Reddy thrice and M. Venkaiah Naidu once.

In 2004, the senior Owaisi retired from politics on health grounds and his elder son, Mr. Asaduddin retained the seat in 2004 and 2009. What makes the Majlis tick here is the heavy minority-dominated composition of the urban segments.

Till 2004, the Hyderabad parliamentary segment also had three rural constituencies of Tandur, Chevella and Vikarabad. But the splitting of votes among the BJP, Congress and TDP worked to the advantage of the Majlis. In 2009, it became an all urban constituency following the delimitation exercise.

Now, there are 16 lakh and odd voters here, 65 per cent of whom are minorities.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 8:29:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/asaduddin-owaisi-sitting-pretty/article5806766.ece

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