TAMIL NADU

MBT determined to get even with MIM

HYDERABAD, JAN. 2. It may not be a cake walk for the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), this time. The divisions under the Chandrayangutta Assembly segment, can upset its calculations in the coming civic polls. Not that there is any distinct anti-Majlis wave here, but the party's arch rival, the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), is gearing to put up a fierce fight.

The MBT chief, Mr. Amanullah Khan, is planning to turn the tables on the Majlis to extract revenge for the severe drubbing he received in the last Assembly election. "We will win at least six to seven divisions here," says Mr. Khan.

In all there are 10 municipal divisions in Chandrayangutta, three more than the previous election. They are Gowlipura, Jangammet, Aliabad, Riasathnagar, Maisaram, Moghalpura, Sultan Shahi, Chanchalam, Edibazar and Kanchanbagh. The last three are newly created divisions. In the previous election held in 1986 the Majlis bagged all but the Aliabad division, which was won by TDP's , Mr. C. Krishna Yadav.

If the local legislator, Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi, is to be believed the Majlis has no opponent worth the name in Chandrayangutta constituency. He does not think the MBT can make any difference to the electoral outcome, leave alone cut into the Majlis votes. However, Mr. Akbaruddin also gives his party seven to eight seats. Aliabad and Sultan Shahi, where the minority population is not much could prove tough.

The Chandrayangutta segment, was represented by Mr. Khan for an unbroken 22 years. It was only in 1990 that he had to taste defeat. But in the last couple of years, Mr. Khan claims, the MBT's ratings have gone up and people are rooting for him once again. The Majlis indifference to the people's problems is stated to be one reason for its alienation. The civic problems remained unsolved and they are only mounting by the day, says Mr. Khan.

The MBT has decided to contest about 46 divisions in association with the Public Democratic Front (PDF) which was formed six months ago. The PDF comprises RPI, Telangana Praja Party, MBT and Left parties, excluding the CPI and CPI(M). Mr. Khan does not mind having a tie-up with the TRS and TSS as he is in favour of smaller States. "If Telangana State is formed the minorities will get greater representation in the Government," he says.

Discrepancies in voters list is a common complaint in the divisions under Chandrayangutta constituency. "Names of voters belonging to the minority community are missing in several areas. We think the names are deliberately deleted," says Mr. Amjadullah Khan, youth leader of MBT.

What are the immediate problems here? The same as elsewhere -- pot-holed roads, drinking water shortage and power fluctuation. The Jangammet division, from where the former Mayor, Mr. Allampally Pochaiah, was elected has no civic amenities worth the name.

Former BJP leader, Mr. A. Narendra, has a good foothold in the Chandrayangutta division, and his newly formed party, TSS, is expected to put up a better show affecting both the Majlis factions. "People are with us and we are sure of winning at least five to six divisions," he says. The Congress, too, has its base here, but the tragic death of local leader, Mr. Panduranga Rao, may affect its chances.

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