NEW DELHI: After the debacle of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, AIMIM decides to contest MCD polls. The decision came soon after Amit Shah’s announcement of BJP’s participation in MCD. AIMIM could play a crucial role in drawing Muslim votes from secular parties.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections to the 272 wards in three municipal corporations are scheduled on 23 April.
According to NDTV, AIMIM had decided that it put up candidate in all 272 seats but on the basis of its survey, it decided to field its candidates only in 50 seats that have a sizeable Muslim population.
On the other hand, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday attack AAP said a win in the civic elections will help catapult the party to power in the national capital.
Pointing to an India map near the dais, Shah said while the country is being painted in “saffron”, Delhi continues to remain a “white spot” and asked the party workers to ensure BJP’s victory in the MCD elections.
“After 2014, BJP has won nearly everywhere, except Delhi and Bihar. Today BJP workers will go back with a resolve to plug the gaps and so that the BJP’s victory flag is unfurled in the national capital,” he said.
“This is not just an MCD election, but it is an opportunity to uproot the AAP government in next polls,” Shah said, and appealed to party activists to work hard for the elections as it was Delhi where the then Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, came to power first.
According to AIMIM Delhi unit President Irfanullah Khan:
“First, we had decided to field candidates on all seats, but when we conducted the survey, we came to know that we are in a strong position on 50 seats. After this, we decided to contest elections in these 50 seats firmly.
“Owaisi’s party has decided to cast its 50 candidates in the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections, including Okhla, Seelampur, Mustafabad, Old Delhi and Sangam. Areas like Vihar are included. The party is strategically targeting the areas where there is a sizeable Muslim population.
“It is not that we are going to contest elections in Muslim-dominated areas, we will also contest in areas like Kalkaji and Bawana because we have got good candidates there and our organization is also strong,” said Khan, a former AAP leader.
The Owaisi’s party had performed well in the Municipal Corporations elections in Maharashtra last month. It has won three seats in BMC and five seats in Solapur Municipal Corporation.
It is being said that Owaisi’s party move will spell trouble for the parties like AAP, Congress and may leave a huge dent in their vote banks.
On being questioned about the allegations on the part of AIMIM fanning communal feelings for political gains and harming secular politics, Irfanullah Khan said that the politics of ‘so-called’ secular parties’ should be stopped in the country.
After being branded as Vote Katwa Party, it will be a challenging task for AIMIM to justify its stand to fight in MCD.