BRS to support MIM, Asad announces Baig as MLC candidate
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
HYDERABAD: BRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao announced on Tuesday that his party would support the Asaduddin Owaisi-led MIM for the biennial MLC election to the Hyderabad local bodies constituency to be held on March 13.
The MIM chose Mirza Rahmath Baig, once a driver of party MLA Ahmed Pasha Quadri.
The BRS is still undecided about contesting in the Mahbubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad teachers’ constituency.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office, the CM made this decision in response to the AIMIM leadership's appeal to back its party's candidate.
Soon after the CM's announcement, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi declared Mirza Rahmath Baig as the party's candidate. "We thank @TelanganaCMO for supporting our candidate for MLC elections. Inshallah the people of Telangana & the country will bless CM sahab for his inclusive & visionary leadership," Owaisi tweeted.
Baig was the AIMIM candidate for the Rajendranagar seat in the 2018 Assembly elections, where he secured 46,547 (18.7%) votes and lost to the BRS.
In the 2017 MLC election, the BRS (then TRS) had supported AIMIM candidate Syed Aminul Hasan Jafri, who was declared elected unopposed. His term will end on May 1 this year.
Rahmat Baig, 35, known to be a "young Turk," dropped out of school and worked as a driver for party MLA Ahmed Pasha Quadri and has been an ardent party worker in the Rajendranagar constituency since his childhood. He stays near the party chief's residence in Shastripuram.
The political equations between the AIMIM and the BRS in the Rajendranagar constituency spurred the leadership to propose Baig’s name for MLC, as it would clear the way for a second term for ruling party MLA T. Prakash Goud.
The BRS did not run for the Mahbubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad teachers’ Legislative Council constituency in 2017, instead supporting the Progressive Recognised Teachers' Union (PRTU-TS) candidate Katepally Janardhan Reddy, who defeated the Left and Congress-supported United Teachers' Federation (UTF) candidate T. Manik Reddy.
This time, the BRS leadership is yet to make its stand clear on the teachers’ MLC election although there are indications that it was in favour of extending support to the PRTU-TS but wanted a new candidate.
The AIMIM's victory in the MLC election to the Hyderabad local bodies constituency is a foregone conclusion with the support of the BRS. If the BJP contests the election, polling will be held on March 13 else Baig will be declared elected unopposed.
No party has the numbers — 60 — to win this election on its own. While the AIMIM has a strength of 52 and the BRS 41 and the BJP has 25.
The Hyderabad local bodies constituency has 127 voters comprising MPs, MLAs, MLCs, GHMC corporators, and ward members of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB). Of this, nine voters were excluded from the voters' list released by the District Election Authority —term of eight SCB ward members has ended, and a BJP corporator from Mehdipatnam has since died.
With this, the total number of voters came down to 118. Although the Congress has three corporators, none were elected from Hyderabad district limits.
With the BRS deciding to support the AIMIM, it enjoys an absolute majority. The BRS has a strength of five Rajya Sabha members, eight MLCs, 10 MLAs and 18 corporators, while the AIMIM has a Lok Sabha member, seven MLAs, two MLCs and 42 corporators. The BJP has a Lok Sabha member, a legislator and 23 corporators.