Ground realities in politics have changed, says Owaisi

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) seems to be making all efforts to join the mainstream of political parties, given the tone and tenor of speeches of its leaders, including its party president and Hyderabad Member of Parliament, Asaduddin Owaisi, at the ongoing series of public meetings, the Jalsa Halat-e-Hazira or the stock-taking sessions. The party is being projected as a secular unit and the speakers talk of development and farmers’ issues, as was done at the meeting at Adilabad on Wednesday.

“Yes, we are doing that as ground realities in politics have changed. We want to remove misconceptions about the party from the minds of people through these meetings,” Mr. Owaisi admitted as he interacted with The Hindu on Thursday.

“The impending sequel of elections starting from gram panchayat onwards has offered us an opportunity which has to be seized,” the MIM president observed. He said the MIM would reach out to people during these elections.

The need for a makeover in image was apparently felt by the Majlis as it seeks to expand and strengthen its base in rural areas and even in other States such as Maharashtra. The party had met with some success in elections in that State recently.

The criticism of sworn political foes such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) continues at the stock-taking meetings.

However, speakers are quick to compare their secular credentials with these parties.

One of the important moves of the party through which it claims to be secular is contributing relief to the victims of the Char Dham tragedy. MIM leaders also did not fail to draw a comparison between the politicisation of relief work being indulged in by the ruling Congress and the TDP.

“Neither the Congress has delivered in terms of governance nor the TDP acted as a forceful opposition. We are trying to fill the vacuum created by these parties,” he said of the party's endeavour.