Close aide of Raja Singh likely to be BJP’s Hyderabad Lok Sabha candidate

Hyderabad: T Amar Singh, a close aide of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh, is likely to be the BJP’s Hyderabad Parliament seat candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Amar Singh had unsuccessfully contested from the Karwan Assembly constituency in the 2023 Assembly elections, losing it to All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s (AIMIM) Kausar Mohiuddin.

Raja Singh, whose suspension from the BJP was revoked just days before Assembly polls on November 30, is in-charge of the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. He had been suspended from the BJP in 2022 for his derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammed. The Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency is currently held by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi and his party has been winning it since 1984. Asaduddin’s father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi first won the seat in 1984.

While BJP’s Amar Singh lost the Karwan seat to the AIMIM, he stood second with a little over 41,000 votes. Though the AIMIM is likely to win the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat once again, this time the going may be a little thought as the party has been facing criticism amongst certain sections of Muslims.

The biggest indicator was from the Yakutpura Assembly seat in the November 2023 polls, which the AIMIM won by just over 800 votes. Its old city rival, the Majlis Bachao Tereek (MBT), nearly snatched a victory, scaring Owaisi’s party members. Had the AIMIM lost the seat, it would have been a big blow to its image given that it boasts of representing the entire Muslim community.

A political analyst who did not want to be named said that the only way AIMIM can lose the seat is if a strong Muslim candidate is put up against Owaisi. “Either he will cut away AIMIM’s votes and make the BJP win in a three or four way contest. But if the Congress puts up very strong Muslim face, then they might also be able to win, but as things stand that is almost impossible,”

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Aside from the BJP, with the Congress in power in Telangana, the AIMIM could fight a strong candidate if the grand old party takes the seat seriously. Congress sources so far said that there is no plan to support MBT head Amjadullah Khan in case he also decides to contest from the Hyderabad Assembly seat.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Asaduddin Owaisi won the seat with a thumping total of 5.17 lakh votes. BJP’ Bhagvanth Rao came second with about 2.35 lakh votes, while the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (then Telangana Rashtra Samithi) candidate came third with over 60000 votes. Congress’s Feroz Khan, who lost the Nampally seat to the AIMIM in the 2023 Assembly elections, came fourth with about 49000 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha contest against Owaisi.