AIMIM may field 4 state nominees in 2019 Lok Sabha polls
In what may add to the troubles of the Congress and NCP, the All India Majlis e Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by the Owaisi brothers is planning to put up candidates from four seats in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha elections. This will include one seat in Mumbai, North Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada.
The AIMIM is part of the ‘Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’ launched by former Lok Sabha MP Prakash Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and heads the Bharatiya Republican Paksha- Bahujan Mahasangh (BRP- BMS). A senior AIMIM leader told DNA that they would not contest the Lok Sabha elections in case the Congress and NCP included Ambedkar in their front.
“However, if this falls through, we are planning to contest as part of Ambedkar’s front on four seats in Maharashtra, namely, Mumbai North East, Aurangabad, Amravati and Malegaon- Dhule,” the leader added. At present, all four seats are represented by Shiv Sena and BJP nominees, namely, Kirit Somaiya (Mumbai North East), Chandrakant Khaire (Aurangabad), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati) and union minister of state for defence Dr Subhash Bhamre (Malegaon- Dhule) and have substantial and Muslim and Dalit presence.
When contacted, AIMIM MLA from Aurangabad, Imtiaz Jaleel, said they would “take a call once everything is settled.” “If the Congress gives due respect to Prakash Ambedkar, we will move aside,” he added. However, Prakash Ambedkar said they had asked the Congress to give them a “master-plan to ensure that the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) was brought under the ambit of the Constitution.”
“The Congress has tolerated the RSS for over 50 decades. If they want to ally with us, they must give us a plan to reign them in and bring the organisation under a Constitutional ambit. There is no point talking about seat-sharing unless this happens,” he added. Ambedkar said he was planning to contest from Akola, which had elected him to the Lok Sabha in 1999 and 2004, and also from Solapur, which incidentally, is former chief minister and senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde’s stronghold. However, Shinde had to face a shock defeat in 2014 at the hands of the BJP’s Sharad Bansode.
Baliram Shiraskar, the sole BRP- BMS MLA in Maharashtra, may contest from Buldhana in Vidarbha. The AIMIM has two legislators in Maharashtra, namely Jaleel and Waris Pathan (Byculla). Unlike most leaders of the Republican Party of India (RPI) factions who have a base in the Buddhist scheduled castes (erstwhile Mahars), who form around 8 per cent of the around 14 per cent Dalit population, Ambedkar has tried to reach out to a larger ‘Bahujan’ constituency including OBC groups through his ‘Akola pattern’ of political and social engineering.
This is not the first time that a coalition between the Dalits and Muslims, who come from the same social and economic category, has been attempted. In the 1980s, Dalit leader Jogendra Kawade had joined alleged smuggler Haji Mastan Mirza to form the Dalit Muslim Suraksha Mahasangh. The Bahujan Mukti Party (BMP) supported by Waman Meshram’s All India Backward (SC, ST, OBC) and Minority Communities Employees’ Federation (BAMCEF) faction, had tried to field German Bakery blasts accused Mirza Himayat Beg from Aurangabad in the Lok Sabha polls.
Source : Daily News & Analysis