Karnataka polls: AIMIM to field candidates, in talks with JD(S) for alliance

Karnataka polls: AIMIM to field candidates, in talks with JD(S) for alliance

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will field candidates in around 25 seats in the Karnataka Assembly elections and may form an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular), the party’s state unit president Osman Ghani said on Tuesday (April 4).

Party chief Asaduddin Owaisi told PTI that the party is open for an alliance. “So far, we have announced three candidates. We are open for an alliance. We will definitely contest the elections. Whether we will have an alliance or not, we will have to wait.”

Ghani said the party is in talks with the JD(S) headed by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda for an alliance, but the latter is yet to respond to the offer. In the 2018 polls to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, AIMIM had backed the JD(S) and not fielded any candidates.

Also read: Gujarat: AAP, AIMIM split minority votes of Congress; BJP gains

Asked about the parties with which the AIMIM is open for an alliance, Owaisi, the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad, said, “The Congress does not want to have an alliance because they make wild and baseless allegations against me. So, we will see.”

“Why weren’t there any protests?”

Owaisi termed as “completely illegal” the Basavaraj Bommai government’s recent decision to scrap 4% reservation for Muslims within the OBC category and expressed his indignation: “Why weren’t there any protests? Why weren’t strong statements made by so-called secular leaders and parties?”

On the oft-repeated criticism by some parties that AIMIM fields candidates to “divide” Muslim votes, he wondered why such a question is not being posed to leaders of other communities such as Lingayats, Vokkaligas, and Kurubas.

Also read: AIMIM leaders visiting every assembly constituency in Rajasthan to strengthen organisation: Owaisi

Owaisi also recalled that the AIMIM had not fielded candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, where the Congress could get only one seat. “Was it because of the division of Muslim votes or consolidation of majority votes for the BJP?” Owaisi remarked.

The AIMIM leader pointed out that the BJP formed the government in Karnataka in 2019 with the help of defectors from the Congress.

(With agency inputs)

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