The rise of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is giving sleepless nights to parties like Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP. The AIMIM had surprised many mainstream political parties by winning 2 seats in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena had even demanded a ban to be imposed on AIMIM across the state for promoting anti-national activities. Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna had criticised Owaisi brothers for indulging in anti-Hindu propaganda to poison the minds of Muslims. Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray had appealed to BJP to join hands to strengthen the Hindutva forces to check the rise of anti-national forces. Is Shiv Sena worried about AIMIM’s rise in the state?
MIM has been winning the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for the last 30 years but now the party has made its debut in the state. After party president Asaduddin Owaisi’s frequent visits to Aurangabad and surrounding areas, his younger brother and AIMIM floor leader in State Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi had visited places like Parbhani, Mumbra and Mumbai.
Both the brothers, who have strengthened their image of aggressive champions of minorities cause, received encouraging response from the masses in all the places they visited. The Muslim community is already disappointed with mainstream parties like Congress, NCP and Samajwadi for only considering them as vote bank and failing to fulfil the promises made by them. Therefore they are considering AIMIM as an alternative which has already stated that it will work for the interests of the community.
AIMIM has significantly eaten into the traditional Muslim support base of parties like the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party. Both these parties used to garner Muslim votes till now.
The AIMIM, which is looking to expand beyond its Hyderabad citadel, has eyed on Maharashtra, which has a significant Muslim population, and north-eastern Karnataka, which was formerly part of Hyderabad state.
It is also planning to expand in Uttar Pradesh, which has close to 3 crore Muslim population. The party will soon open its office in Lucknow and is planning to enter into UP in a big way.
Anjum Inamdar, one of the organisers said, “While denying permission to hold the rally at Golibar Maidan, police told us that they would consider permitting the gathering if it took place at a closed-door venue. As per their suggestion, we chose a hall in Kausar Baug. Apart from this, there is no other change in the schedule.”
When AV tried to contact AIMIM’s MLAs’ Imitiaz Jalil, MLA from Aurangabad Central, and Waris Pathan, (Byculla), they remained unavailable for comment.
Shiv Sena workers staged a noisy protest outside the venue where AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi was to address a gathering on the issue of reservation for Muslims. Sena workers began thronging the Kauser Baug in Kondhwa, where police allowed the gathering with several riders, including one that the crowd should not exceed 2000 people, as specified in the application for the meeting.
The Sena said that they back the idea of reservation for Muslims on the basis of financial status, but not only on the basis of religion.
“We support the idea of Muslims getting reservation on the basis of their financial status, but not on the basis of their caste. The late Sena Chief (Bal Thackeray) had said that religion should not be mixed with the need to get essential commodities. This is why Owaisi, on the pretext of talking about reservations (for Muslims) does not need to fulfill his agenda,” the Sena said.