Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
MUMBAI -– In a rare gesture, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has decided to support Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate in Maharashtra’s Mumbra-Kalwa constituency in the ongoing assembly elections.
The AIMIM has taken the decision to support the AAP candidate, Dr. Altamash Faizi, after its own contender for the seat, Barkatullah Shaikh, withdrew his candidature.
Issuing an official statement on Friday in support of Faizi, AIMIM’s Maharashtra chief, Imtiaz Jaleel, said “In the wake of our official candidate cheating the party and the people of Mumbra-Kalwa by withdrawing his candidature at the last time, we feel the people of the constituency need a person with good reputation and the zest to do something for the society. Having gone through your profile and your letter seeking support of the AIMIM to your candidature the party president, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, has agreed to offer party’s support to you.”
While expressing his pleasure in announcing their support to the candidate, Jaleel urged his party workers and office-bearers to extend “full cooperation” to him and work for his victory.
In this Maharashtra assembly elections, scheduled to be held in October 21, the MIM, which broke its alliance with Balasaheb Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) due to difference over seat-sharing, is contesting from 44 seats, out of 288 seats. In Mumbra-Kalwa, it was believed that there had been close contest between the MIM and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jitendra Awhad. But the sudden withdrawal of the MIM candidate left the party workers in disarray.
Taking action against Shaikh for betraying the people and his party, the MIM suspended his primary membership. “We have removed Gunjan Seth from the primary membership of the AIMIM for cheating and betraying the trust of the party by withdrawing his nomination papers from the Mumbra assembly constituency,” said Jaleel.
The local party workers are also requested to support Faizi for his clean record. “We shall request the party to support the AAP candidate, who is former IAS officer, Dr Abu Faizi, who holds a clean record so that voters inclined towards the AIMIM do not feel betrayed,” said Lala of MIM.
But, it is interesting to note here that both the AAP and the MIM aspire to become national party posing a threat to the old political parties which have been ruling the country for long. Their policies are different, but their ambitions are the same; that is to take the leadership of the people on the national front. Against this backdrop, it is yet to be seen whether this alliance at the constituency level could play its role at the national level and bring them closer to each other.