After withdrawing support to the governments at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen has adopted an aggressive posture and spurned attempts by the Congress leadership to address its concerns.
The MIM got a shot in the arm when the United Muslim Action Committee (UMAC), an umbrella group of various organisations, not only endorsed its decision to snap ties with the Congress but also decided to launch a campaign to expose the State government’s ‘misdeeds’.
“We will visit every nook and cranny of the State from November 25 to tell people about this communal government,” said UMAC chairman Abdul Rahim Qureshi.
Since Monday, when MIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi announced severance of Congress ties, AICC leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad have been trying to contact the Majlis MP in an attempt to convince him to reconsider his decision, but have met with little success. Mr. Patel reportedly tried in vain to make contact with Mr. Owaisi on two occasions.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi on his arrival from Dhaka, Mr. Azad said Mr. Owaisi’s decision was “painful.” “I am trying to get in touch with him but he is unreachable. I will get full details about the developments.”
In contrast to the conciliatory tone adopted by Central leaders, Congressmen in the State went all out to refute the MIM charges. Pradesh Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana denounced Mr. Owaisi’s statement that he would work for bringing down the Congress government. “How did the Congress turn non-secular in less than a week?” he asked.
Meanwhile, the Old City, which has remained tense for the last four days, is limping back to normality as the police allowed three- and four-wheelers to move around Charminar.
Hundreds of people queued outside the Bhagyalakshmi temple, abutting Charminar, on the first day of Karthika month. The authorities drew criticism from all quarters — particularly from Muslims — for “imposing an economic blockade” on the hub of the Old City.
The Majlis’ ties with the Congress came under strain following skirmishes in the city during Bakrid. A flashpoint was the arrest of MIM MLAs during their bid to protest the placing of tarpaulin on the temple on Sunday.