Is the Majlis out to scuttle the chances of YSRC in Seemandhra? It appears so if the aggressive campaign of the party in this region is of any indication. Both the Majlis president, Asaduddin Owaisi, and his younger sibling, Akbaruddin Owaisi, are canvassing support for their party like never before in the Seemandhra towns. The enthusiastic turnout of minorities at Majlis meetings might prove detrimental to the YSRC in the final analysis, observers feel.
During the last fortnight the Owaisi brothers have toured extensively and addressed meetings in Anantapur, Hindupur, Gooty, Adoni, Guntakal, Nandyal, Kadapa and Rayachoti. They plan to tour Nellore and other areas in the coastal belt in the coming days. These places have sizable minority population ranging between 15 to 20 percent. With bifurcation of the State, the party feels it is the right time to expand its base in the Seemandhra. The Majlis is contesting both municipal and Assembly polls in these parts.
Contrary to the belief that the Majlis would sail with the YSRC in Seemandhra, the Owaisis are singling out Jaganmohan Reddy for attack along with the Telugu Desam leader, N. Chandrababu Naidu. In meeting after meeting they caution people about the ambivalent stand of these parties vis-à-vis BJP.
“It is not certain whom they will support in the Centre after election,” says Mr. Asaduddin explaining how both the TDP and YSRC leaders are in regular touch with the saffron party.
While BJP can never hope to get minority votes to ensure election of its prime ministerial candidate, Narender Modi for the top job, it is banking on other parties to seek Muslim votes. “But we will not allow this to happen. Majlis will not only chase BJP but also expose the so called secular parties supporting it,” warned Mr. Akbaruddin the other day addressing a public meeting in Kadapa.
The Majlis leaders have taken umbrage to the praise of Mr. Modi as a ‘good administrator’ by Mr. Jagan. At a recent meeting Mr. Asaduddin reminded the YSRC leader how ‘your father was a secular person’.
The sharp attack on YSRC, many feel, is Majlis way of consolidating the minority votes in its favour. There are a number of constituencies in this region with sizable minority population. Muslims can definitely influence the poll outcome here if they vote en bloc.
The Majlis sees a good opportunity to get a foothold in Seemandhra post bifurcation. “We will stick with you through thick and thin as we stand by the minorities in Telangana”, is how the Majlis leaders are striking a bond with Muslims of Seemandhra.