New kids on the block: AAP, AIMIM look to offer third force option in MP
Results of the recent local body polls in Madhya Pradesh have seen emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Hyderabad-based AIMIM as strong contenders for the third force space in a state where the Congress and the BJP have been the dominant players.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and the Asaduddin Owaisi-headed All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are looking to fill the space that until now was occupied by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), whose political footprints are shrinking in the state.
The AAP, in its maiden civic polls contest, claimed to have garnered 6.3 per cent vote share, while the AIMIM has got seven of its candidates elected as corporators.
On the other hand, the Mayawati-led BSP and the SP, which had pockets of influence in Madhya Pradesh and also legislative presence, have seen their electoral fortunes dwindling.
The ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress, however, appear unfazed by the growing number of third force contenders in the state, where bipolar politics has been the norm so far.
“We got 6.3 per cent votes in urban body polls. Of the 14 mayoral candidates, one won from Singrauli and those in Gwalior and Rewa came third. In Gwalior, we got about 46,000 votes,” AAPs state president Pankaj Singh told
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