Major setback for Owaisi’s AIMIM

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The party won’t be able to contest the BMC election scheduled to be held in February 2017.

Asaduddin Owaisi-AV

The State Election Commission has barred All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) from contesting civic body elections in Maharashtra for its failure to furnish tax returns and audited accounts. Earlier the EC had issued notices to the party asking it to submit the reports failing which its registration will be cancelled. AIMIM was supposed to file the necessary information till 31st December, 2015. Thus party members won’t be able to contest election from AIMIM’s symbol. The Asaduddin Owaisi led party has two members in the state assembly. In the 2015 municipal elections, AIMIM had made an impressive debut in Aurangabad. The party had emerged as the main opposition party by winning 24 seats.

The state Election Commission in Maharashtra, which conducts local body polls, deregistered 191 local political parties including AIMIM for their failure to submit Income Tax returns and audited accounts. Thus AIMIM won’t be able to contest the BMC election scheduled to be held in February 2017.

State Election Commissioner JS Saharia said, “Parties which lost their registration also includes RPI-Khobragade faction.”

So far, 359 political parties have been registered with the Commission. Of these, 17 are recognised parties, he said.

“Notices were served to 326 parties for failure to submit necessary documents. Despite sending reminders to them and extending the deadline on request of some of them, they have allegedly failed to submit any documents,” Saharia said.

“If the parties want to contest elections in Maharashtra, they have to register,” he added.

Imtiaz Jaleel-AVImitiaz Jaleel AIMIM, MLA from Central Aurangabad constituency and group leader in Maharashtra Assembly said, “We are shocked to hear this news. We had already submitted all the necessary documents to the Election Commission after receiving notice from them. We had furnished three years IT returns to them and had followed transparency.”

He denied any political pressure from the ruling party on Election Commission as it is an independent body.

“We will appeal with the Election Commission against the ban. I am confident that the party will contest local body elections due in few months,” he added.

Zamir Surme, General Secretary AIMIM Mumbra said, “There are possibilities that ruling parties might have pressurised the Election Commission as our party is expanding in Maharashtra. We are the second largest party in Aurangabad.”

Hassan Mulani, Secretary AIMIM from Thane district said, “We are not alone as the Election Commission had barred 191 parties from contesting election. We had submitted all the documents to EC. We will file an appeal against this in the Bombay High Court.”