MIM not to contest Karnataka polls

| | Hyderabad

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will not be fielding any candidate in Karnataka Assembly elections, party president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi announced here on Monday. Instead, he declared party’s support to Janata Dal (Secular) of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

AIMIM is the second political party from Telangana to announce its support to Gowda’s party. Last week Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President during his visit to Bengaluru had announced his party’s support to the JD(S).

Polling in Karnataka is due on May 12.

Talking to the media in Hyderabad on Monday Owaisi said that the aim of AIMIM’s support to JD(S) was that a non-Congress, non BJP Government should come to power in Karnataka and eventually in the country.  He said that the party decided to take this line after consultations with the party leaders. “All our efforts and endeavors will be to ensure that the JD (S) gets the maximum number of seats. HD Kumaraswamy should become the Chief Minister and the party lead by Deve Gowda should be ruling Karnataka”.

Lashing out at both the Congress and the BJP he said that both the national parties had failed to meet the aspirations of the people of Karnataka.Owaisi said that he conveyed the decision of the AIMIM to Kumaraswamy assuring him partys full support. He said whenever possible he and other party leaders will also take part in campaign in Karnataka.

Echoing the words and sentiments of Chief Minister KCR, Owaisi expressed hope that the people of Karnataka will bring JD(S) to power in Karnataka once again to bring a qualitative change in politics. “It will be in the interest of Karnataka and the country that a non Congress and non BJP government comes to power in the state as well as in the country whenever the Parliament elections were held”, he said. Initially Owaisi was keen that MIM should contest the elections in Karnataka, specially in Hyderabad-Karnataka region which has significant Muslim population and the party has a base there. There were also speculations that MIM was talking to JD(S) leader Deve Gowda for an electoral understanding. But nothing came out of it and now the MIM has announced support to JDS which already has an understanding with the BSP.

Owaisi’s decision to go with the JD(S) was being seen as an extension of the bitter differences between the MIM and the Congress. Ever since MIM opted to be a friend of TRS in Telangana and field candidates in other states against Congress, it was facing fierce attacks from the local Congress leaders.

Telangana State Congress President N Uttam Kumar Reddy has announced that the Congress will specially focus on the MIM strongholds in the old city in the  next elections and work hard to wrest its seats. Congress leaders have also launched whispering campaign that the MIM was fielding candidates in other State to divide the secular votes at the behest of the BJP, a charge Owaisi strongly refute.

MIM on its part was also extremely unhappy with the Congress after its Government in Karnataka created obstacles in its ways when the party tried to contest the Benaluru Municipal Corporation elections. MIM drew a blank in the civic polls.



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