Hyderabad: The announcement of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy that his party will field strong candidates against the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in the state Assembly elections, has raised questions in political circles about whether the Congress can realistically make a dent in the AIMIM’s bastions.
It may be recalled that Congress candidates who contested against the MIM in the seven Assembly segments that are the MIM’s strongholds, in 2004 and 2009, lost their deposits.
In the GHMC elections, the Congress had fielded candidates in 45 divisions that fall under the seven segments and 44 candidates lost their deposits; only the Puranapul ward which falls under the Charminar segment went to the Congress which got 34.79 per cent of the votes. The PCC president claimed that recently conducted surveys have indicated victory for the Congress party in at least two or three Assembly constituencies in the MIM strongholds.
The PCC president says the Congress never contested elections seriously in the Old City because of its understanding with the MIM in the past.
But this time the Congress will give the MIM a tough contest in all seats of the Old City of Hyderabad and will win at least two or three seats.
Congress leaders are of the opinion that Muslims feel there is a tacit understanding between the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the BJP given that the TRS had voted for BJP candidates in the elections for President and Vice-President of India, and deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and it had also supported the demonetisation of currency notes, and has so far not spelt out its stand on the Triple Talaq Bill.
The Congress thus feels that the MIM supporting the TRS will not go down well with the former’s traditional vote bank which may well turn to the Congress.
Voting for the TRS is like voting for the BJP, is the message of the Congress.
The MIM leadership, though, believes it will retain all seven seats. It says that the Muslims of Telangana state, particularly Muslims of Hyderabad, have never trusted the Congress and always stood with the MIM.
The MIM’s leaders say they have never aimed for the top post of Chief Minister and that the aim is to retain its strength and work for TS, its minorities, irrespective of who is in power.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said the Congress has always betrayed the Muslims whenever they voted for it....