May join hands with ‘secular’ forces to stop the rise of BJP

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has set its sights high for a bigger role in national politics.

With a view to stopping BJP’s march, the party is contemplating joining hands with ‘secular’ forces. It plans to campaign against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra in the coming election.

The Majlis, which celebrated its 56th anniversary recently, gave the mandate to its president Asaduddin Owaisi to chalk out a course of action to stop the saffron party’s juggernaut.

His younger sibling and MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi publicly urged Mr. Asaduddin to turn his attention to tackle bigger challenges in other parts of the country. “The Majlis has emerged as the voice of the underprivileged. Minorities and Dalits from across the country are looking to us for guidance,” he says.

The party tried to create a foothold for itself in some parts of the country by providing succour to victims of Muzzafarnagar and Assam riots and those affected by floods in Uttarakhand.

The Hyderabad MP fancies good prospects for his party in several Assembly segments of Maharashtra like Nanded, Aurangabad, Malegon, Mumbra and a few constituencies in Karnataka forming part of the erstwhile Hyderabad State. The Majlis has made forays and set up its units in Hyderabad-Karnataka and Maharatwada regions. The party is also in the process of identifying seats in Azamgarh and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Denial of permission to hold meetings in Aurangabad, Mumbra and other places has come as a blessing in disguise.

“The ban imposed on my entry has only benefited me politically,” Mr. Asaduddin says.

The party is also going in a big way in the coming local body elections. It has decided to contest all the municipal seats in Telangana, a good number in Rayalaseema and a few in Seemandhra. “Strengthening our presence at the grassroots is essential so as to contest the Assembly polls,” Mr. Akbaruddin says.

The Majlis is making a serious bid to snatch the Secunderabad Parliament seat. There are 30 per cent Muslim voters in the segment, but the party is banking on the sizeable Christian vote-bank to romp home.