New Delhi: AIMIM headed by Asaduddin Owaisi is trying to expand its base in the national capital, and has started to strengthen its organisational structure here.
Speaking to IANS, Kaleemul Hafeez, the newly appointed state president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) said that the party will become a viable option to the Muslims of Delhi as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has failed them and the Congress is non committal on the issues related to the minorities.
The MIM in Delhi is trying to forge an alliance with the Scheduled Caste community and make a Dalit-Muslim combination in the national capital. Hafeez said that Delhi is a metro and so is Hyderabad and no municipality can run without Majlis in Hyderabad.
When asked why the party thinks that Dalits will come with them, he said that party leader Owaisi’s politics is based on Ambedkar. “He only quotes Babasaheb in his speeches and no leader except him. He relies on Baba Saheb’s thought.” The party has forged alliance in Maharashtra with Ambedkarites and were successful electorally.
The party intends to contest 70 seats in the 272 wards of the MCD in Delhi and will give 30 seats to the Scheduled Caste members of the party. It plans to contest in wards where the Muslim voters are more than 5,000.
The party said it will declare a Dalit mayor candidate for east Delhi municipality corporation as the EDMC has the highest number of Muslims and Dalits.
The party has roped in two Dalit leaders to tap the Scheduled Caste votes, which is a sizeable population. Hafeez said if teh Dalits and Muslims unite, then the chunk will be around more than 30 per cent, and then both the Congress and AAP will be compelled to take up the issues concerning Muslim.
While countering that they are “vote katwa” or dividing the Muslim votes to benefit the BJP, he said that in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 there was no MIM but the total votes of AAP and Congress was less than the BJP. So this means that they are just targeting MIM as it is raising the Muslim issues in the country.
Hafeez said that the Congress and AAP are shying away from the Muslims in fear of alienating the Hindus as he cited the case of Rabia Saifi, who was in civil defence and no big leader reached her family, but the same Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal went to meet a victim in west Delhi in a similar case.
Kaleemul Hafeez was earlier in the AAP. He said he was not an office-bearer, but was heading the committee to establish schools for the Muslims. He alleges, “When we were about to open a school and shortlisted teachers, principal and deputy director, they were stopped by Kejriwal in the fear of loosing the majority votes, so I decided to leave the party and join MIM which is the only one raising the Muslim issues.”
The MIM is contesting in Uttar Pradesh on around 100 seats, and is trying to make inroads in the Muslim belt and has roped in Atiq Ahmed’s wife. The party has offered a ticket to Mukhtar Ansari, incidentally both are mafia dons and are currently in judicial custody.
The party which won five Assembly seats in Bihar was one of the major reasons for the defeat of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, though the party could not do much in West Bengal where the minority voted for the Trinamool Congress. Hafeez, however, counters that the reason was that the party fought in very few seats and the state chief left the party just ahead of the elections.