‘Will approach EC’: Owaisi to WB police over denial of permission for meeting

Hyderabad: Blasting West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over being denied permission to hold a public meeting, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday said that he will be forced to approach the Election Commission of India (ECI) and lodge complaints against police officers if pushed to it. 

“Why were we not allowed to hold a meeting at Metiaburz (in West Bengal)? We will go to Bengal. Our team is working there on the ground, and have identified candidate lists. The Congress made the mistake there too (of cancelling our rallies),” Owaisi warned Banerjee, while addressing a press conference on Thursday.

The All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief requested police officers to consider his party’s applications. “You are compelling us to approach the Election Commission to say that such and such police officer is not letting free and fair elections happen,” Owaisi added.

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On allegations of the AIMIM being a “B-team” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Owaisi retorted back asking whether he was responsible for the BJP winning 18 seats in the last (2019) general elections. 

On the AIMIM winning corporator seats in the just concluded municipal body polls in Gujarat, Asaduddin Owaisi said that he is looking to fill a “very big political vacuum” in the state. “It is also our main political objective,” he said, hinting that AIMIM is likely to contest state elections in Gujarat as well. 

“There were some shortcomings/mistakes there. I spoke to corporators who won and lost. I told them to work on public issues and to show the difference between MIM and the Congress. Our alliance with Chotubhai Vasava with Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) will remain,” Owaisi informed.

In the upcoming West Bengal state elections, the ruling Trinamool Congress, led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, is going against the BJP, and the Congress-Left alliance. The entry of AIMIM into the fray might change equations in the state.

Owaisi has been trying to cobble an alliance with influential cleric Abbas Siddiqui of the Furfura Sharif Dargah. However, so far there is no confirmation on it, as Siddiqui has also repeatedly met Congress and Left leaders.  

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