Hyderabad: The Congress on Friday appealed to the Muslim community to stay cautious against the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) which is covertly helping the Bharatiya Janata Party strengthen its roots across the country.
“MIM is playing into the hands of BJP to polarise elections. They experimented the polarisation of voters by contesting Maharashtra Assembly elections held in 2016. Their entry helped the BJP and Shiv Sena win the Assembly polls due to division of secular votes. Although the MIM won two seats, it ensured the victory of BJP/Shiv Sena in most of the seats it contested in Maharashtra. The MIM repeated the same thing in just concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Although the party was rejected by the UP voters, MIM was able to help the BJP win 19 out of 33 seats from where it contested,” said Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee (GHCC) minorities’ department chairman Sheik Abdullah Sohail and TPCC official spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin in a media statement.
Abdullah Sohail said that the MIM was fully aware that the contest in UP polls would be multi-cornered and any division in secular votes would help the BJP. In order to prevent division of secular votes, the Congress and Samajwadi Party entered into an alliance. But Asaduddin Owaisi not only fielded his party’s candidates, but also ran a high profile campaign while addressing multiple public meetings in a day. All this was done to polarise the voters in those constituencies. Consequently, the BJP won from 19 out of 33 seats, he said.
Further, Abdullah Sohail said that the MIM’s presence directly ensured BJP’s victory in three Assembly segments. In Gainsari constituency, BJP candidate won with a margin of just 2,303 votes and this became possible due to 3,160 votes secured by the MIM candidate.
Similarly, MIM candidate’s 2,933 votes helped the BJP win Shrawasti seat with a margin of just 445 votes. Likewise, the MIM helped BJP win Tanda seat. Here, MIM secured 2,070 votes while BJP’s candidate won with a margin of only 1,725 votes. He said some UP leaders have rightly described MIM as “Vote Katwas” (vote cutters).
The Congress leader said that MIM candidates put together secured just 1,75,594 votes from 33 constituencies. But their entry polarised the entire elections in UP. After the announcement of results, MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi has been pleading innocence stating that his party alone should not be blamed for division of secular votes.
He said MIM neither had organisational or ideological presence in Uttar Pradesh before the Assembly elections. Except for the hate speeches of Owaisi brothers, the MIM had no other identity. Therefore, the MIM’s entry was clearly aimed at uniting non-secular votes in favour of BJP.
Meanwhile, TPCC spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin asked the MIM to explain the sources of funds it had spent in UP elections. MIM never contested from all 15 seats of Hyderabad district. But how did it manage to contest in over 30 seats in UP and Asaduddin Owaisi even hired a helicopter to address maximum number of public meetings in a day?
Further, Asaduddin Owaisi was given too much prominence by a section of media which is known for its tilt towards BJP and Sangh Parivar. He pointed out that the same media never did a story on the actual problems being faced by the Muslim community.
The Congress leaders said the MIM was now planning to enter Gujarat and Karnataka to help the BJP win Assembly elections scheduled next year. However, they said that the Congress would not allow MIM to spread its evil tentacles further.
“We will expose the MIM on all streets and corners of Hyderabad and at all other places where they exist and wish to exist. MIM has turned elections into a business where Owaisi brothers make investment by giving hate speeches. Later, they field candidates from the constituencies selected by the BJP and make money,” they alleged.
Abdullah Sohail and Nizamuddin also demanded a probe into the increase in assets of Owaisi brothers since 2014 General Elections. (NSS)