It’s a landslide for Owaisi

It was a landslide victory for All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi as he sailed through with a margin of over 2,82,186 votes against his closest rival.

Mr Owaisi, who was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, fought against Dr Bhagvanth Rao, BJP candidate, who HAD locked horns with the MIM president at his home turf in 2014 as well. While Dr Rao polled over 2.35 lakh votes, Mr Owaisi polled over 5.17 lakh votes, higher than his 2014 tally of over 5.13 lakh votes.

The MIM president's margin of votes as compared to the 2014 elections against Dr Rao too increased by over 78,000 votes. His vote share saw a spike from from 42.14% IN 2009 to 58.95 % in 2019.

Later on Thursday evening Mr Owaisi, addressing the media, said he respects the verdict. On the one hand, he described the electoral verdict as a victory for the BJP, but also expressed concerns that it would bring about an increased alienation of the Muslim community. Taking questions on allegation of EVM rigging, Mr Owaisi claimed that the 'Hindu mind' has been 'rigged'.

“I believe that Election Commission should display its independence. I believe that VVPAT should be there not only in five Assembly constituencies, but 100%. This is what I believe in. The EVM has not been rigged. It is the Hindu mind which has been rigged,” he said.

Expressing concerns over the nature of political discourse, Mr Owaisi said employment and agrarian distress was not an election issue. Reacting to Sadhvi Pragya's victory, he said, “The limit is that the terror accused has won,” he said, and 'promised' the country that his party would not 'back down', but 'fight back', and 'expose' the BJP.

“I have been saying from the beginning, and will repeat, that in our beloved country, there was never a Muslim vote bank. There has been a Hindu vote bank in our country. To cater to this vote bank, disinformation and hatred was spread, and we are seeing the result,” he said.

He said the BJP was successful in creating this fear about the security of India and gave a push to a narrative of nationalism, and fear of minorities.

Announcing the party's future plans Mr Owaisi said, “Now, I definitely will concentrate in UP. I have not contested elections in UP, or Maharashtra.”

Mr Owaisi said the MIM would continue to remain with the TRS as it has stopped the BJP from making strides in the State.

The Hyderabad MP described YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy as his friend and congratulated him on his victory.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2022 9:55:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/its-a-landslide-for-owaisi/article27226999.ece