MIM back with trademark campaign style

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Election drive: MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi campaigning for the party.
Election drive: MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi campaigning for the party.

J.S. Ifthekhar

Akbaruddin Owaisi ridicules opponents for calling the Majlis “choti si jamaat”

Hyderabad: Frenzied in pace and frenetic in character. That’s what electioneering is all about. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is back with its trademark campaigning - emotional rhetoric and rabble-rousing talk.

“If Majlis is a small party why six parties have teamed up against it. Can’t the TDP, TRS, Communists, BJP and PR face the Majlis on their own,” thunders Akbaruddin Owaisi.

Rapturous crowd

The crowd erupts into a roar. Speaking in his inimitable style, Mr. Akbaruddin asks the opponents to measure their height for calling the Majlis “choti si jamaat”. The crowd couldn’t hold back and cries of ‘zindabad’ rent the air.

Mr Akbaruddin and elder borther, Asaduddin Owaisi, are the star campaigners for the party. While the former strikes an aggressive posture drawing instant response from the audience, the latter talks in a sober tone. “There is an attempt to break the Muslim unity in Hyderabad”, cautions Mr. Asaduddin and says the conspirators will never succeed.

While other parties are still bogged down in candidate selection, the Majlis has hit the campaign trail in right earnest. It is the ‘muqalifeene Majlis’ (Majlis opponents) issue that the party harps on. The reference is clearly to the Siasat Editor, Zahid Ali Khan, who has thrown his hat in the ring with the active support of the Grand Alliance.

Bitter campaign

It is a bitter no-holds-barred campaign both on the ground and in the columns of Urdu newspapers. With the editors of Munsif and Rahnuma-e-Deccan getting behind the ‘oust Majlis’ drive, readers are treated to an overdose of Majlis bashing. On its part the Majlis pays back in the same coin through its daily, Etemaad. “It is getting difficult to sift the news from bias. Reading Urdu newspapers you can’t come to the right conclusion”, says Anwar Husain, a retired government servant echoing the views of many persons.

It is ‘us’ versus ‘them’ syndrome at play. Instead of telling what they plan to do both the Majlis and the Zahid Ali Khan camp point out the pitfalls in case they are not voted to power. Neither camp is clear in what it plans to offer. Mr. Khan aims to bring about an educational revolution among minorities. “I want to give book and pen in every child’s hand”, says the veteran editor. But how would he go about realising this goal. There are no clear answers. The impassioned rhetoric is played out as the campaign gets vigorous.

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