Alleges Ashok Chavan to Hyderabad based party and says that Congress will go solo in Mumbai for contesting BMC polls.
Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan launched a scathing attack on All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and said that it has been offered a contract by the BJP to contest election in Mumbai and other regions of Maharashtra. Chavan said that AIMIM is likely to play spoilsport in the Municipal Corporation elections by splitting secular votes which may damage Congress party’s electoral prospects.
He said, “AIMIM is playing into the hand of BJP and has decided to field candidates in Muslim dominated areas of the city which may cause harm to Congress. On one hand, BJP is planning to consolidate Hindu votes while secular votes will be split between Congress and AIMIM.”
“AIMIM has been trying to expand its foothold across the country after it had won few seats in Maharashtra. It also had contested the Bihar assembly polls to help BJP’s cause which backfired. The BJP and AIMIM are two sides of the same coin,” added Chavan.
Congress has been paying price for sidelining Muslim voters and they have now started shifting loyalties towards AIMIM. In the past to AIMIM has received flak for helping BJP while contesting elections.
When asked whether Congress will have a pre-poll alliance with NCP for contesting the BMC polls Chavan replied, “We have already announced the names of 45 candidates for contesting the BMC election so we are not keen to have an alliance with NCP in the city. Even party activists want us to go solo in civic body polls. However in other areas, we may have alliance with NCP if the local leaders have no objections against it. We will have tie-up with like- minded parties.”
In the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls, AIMIM managed to win 0.9 per cent of the total votes polled while fielding only 24 candidates in the 288 member state assembly, an average of over 20,000 votes per constituency it contested. The party also finished second on three seats while coming third in another eight seats.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said, “As per the recommendations made by prominent leaders, we have decided to contest the BMC polls independently. We will contest all the 227 seats and our list is expected within a week.”
Meanwhile Chavan, will lead a protest in Mumbai outside RBI office to protest against demonetisation campaign and loss of autonomy of the institution on January 18. Leader of Opposition in legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, will participate in protests to be held at Nagpur, informed Chavan.