MIM sees red in Pawar’s ‘conspiring with BJP’ remark

November 18, 2014 03:56 pm | Updated April 09, 2016 10:29 am IST - Pune:

The Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has taken umbrage at Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s remarks that the Muslim party was in cahoots with the Bharatiya Janata Party to expand its presence in Maharashtra.


Categorically refuting the NCP chief’s allegations, Imtiaz Jaleel, the MIM’s MLA from Aurangabad Central, called Mr. Pawar’s statement “preposterous.”


“It is obvious that the NCP and its erstwhile ally, the Congress are disconcerted by the MIM’s performance in Maharashtra in the recent Assembly polls. However, to say that a section of the BJP is covertly backing us is absurd. Our fight has primarily been against the BJP,” said Mr. Jaleel, speaking to  The Hindu  from Aurangabad.


“Mr. Pawar never said anything about us when we supported the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, of which the NCP was part of, from 2004 to 2012. He forgets that the MIM had helped when the Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh was in a tight spot in 2011,” he added.

The Congress and the NCP were reaping the fruits of hollow promises to Dalits and the minority community for the last several years, Mr. Jaleel said, remarking that it did not behove a leader of Mr. Pawar’s stature to dub the MIM a divisive party.


Speaking at the start of a two-day party meet in Alibaug, Mr. Pawar said that some important BJP leaders were responsible for nurturing the MIM, thereby encouraging it to grab a significant chunk of the ‘secular vote’ in the recent Maharashtra polls.


“The MIM is inherently out to spread division in society. I have no hesitation in saying that a section of the BJP is backing it,” Mr. Pawar said, implying that the MIM’s success in Aurangabad district was possible only because of the BJP’s tacit support.


Mr. Pawar’s comments closely follow those of Congress MLA Praniti Shinde, daughter of former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who recently called for a ban on MIM after branding it a “treasonous political party.”


The MIM snared one per cent of the total vote share in its maiden entry in the Maharashtra election arena, winning two of the 24 seats it fought and nettling the Congress and the NCP by eating their minority vote banks in Aurangabad and Solapur districts.

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