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Owaisi’s entry may change UP’s political landscape

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Asaduddin_Owaisi_(2006)Lucknow:  The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) of Asaduddin Owaisi plans to contest the coming three-tier panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh, giving the jitters to the ruling Samajwadi Party.

Both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party have announced they will contest the elections on party symbol at some places and support strong candidates at others.

Highly placed sources in the Hyderabad-based AIMIM told IANS that its president Owaisi, the party’s only Lok Sabha member, has given the green signal to the idea of fighting the panchayat battle. The party, known for its radical views, is working on the selection of candidates and finalizing the election strategy.

The panchayat polls will test the waters for the future in the electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh where the AIMIM feels it will have a key role to play in the 2017 assembly elections.

Owaisi has for long been itching to get his party’s footprint in Uttar Pradesh but the Samajwadi Party government thrice denied him permission to hold rallies in the state. The Samajwadi Party clearly fears that Owaisi would poach into its otherwise reliable Muslim support base. Muslims and Yadavs played a major role in catapulting the Samajwadi Party to power in 2012.

Owaisi, however, slipped into Uttar Pradesh’s Iftar gatherings in Meerut and Agra. Both cities have sizable Muslim populations.
Owaisi, often seen as a firebrand, mingled with the Who’s Who among Muslims and gave special time to Muslim youth.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is home to some 36 million Muslims. Their en bloc support to any single party creates a perception of winnability.

AIMIM state unit leader Mohd Tauheed Ahmed Siddiqui says the party will contest the Panchayat polls but “strategically and selectively”.

The winning potential of the candidates will be a key factor. The overall performance is expected to cast a shadow on the 2017 assembly polls.

The party, informed sources say, is focussing on western Uttar Pradesh – the flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims in 2013 when 67 people were killed in riots in the Muzaffarnagar region. Thousands became homeless.

Owaisi’s fiery speeches, his opposition to the hanging of Mumbai serial bombings accused Yakub Memon and his rant against Hindutva forces have endeared him to many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, specially the youth.

The Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are haunted by the spectre of Owaisi eating into their vote bank.

“We are not sure of the exact impact but, yes, the AIMIM’s entry into UP is a worrying prospect,” says a senior Congress functionary.

Some feel that the AIMIM may meet a premature end like the Apna Dal, which till not long ago was a party to watch out for until it bit the dust in the 2012 battle.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is, however, happy over the development. Its leaders feel that Owaisi will further polarize the electorate on religious lines, in the process consolidating Hindus behind the BJP.

BJP strategists are also confident that Owaisi’s entry will further weaken the electoral prospects of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress.

Established in 1928 to keep the then Hyderabad State independent, the MIM was banned after the state’s merger with the Indian Union in 1948.

Owaisi’s grandfather, Moulana Abdul Wahid Owaisi, revived it in 1958 to champion the cause of Indian Muslims.

It has seven members in the 120-seat Telangana assembly. Two of its candidates were also elected to the Maharashtra assembly last year, giving it a major boost. It has since decided to expand nationally.

Often branded communal by critics, the MIM claims to represent the interests of not just Muslims but all socially and economically backward classes. It says it is the only party in India to develop a chain of educational institutions and state-of-the-art hospitals.

(IANS)

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Greed For Power May Demolish The Democracy

Politicians compete with each other for power and this greed for power can demolish democracy

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Greed for power in politics may demolish democracy in India. Pixabay

By SALIL GEWALI

It is too disgusting that Shiv Sena is aiming for something which was nothing but an act of betrayal. Here the principles and ethos of the party are just sacrificed. The “chair” of Chief Minister is what the individual parties in Maharashtra are wanting so badly. And for this only Shiv Sena has severed its ties with its all-time ally BJP which emerged with the largest number of MLAs. Is it not the BJP with which Sena made the alliance before the election? Why so much bitter feelings after the poll result? Many past elections were fought on this mutual understanding. Sena had always taken pride and bragged about its power and clout as because the BJP was behind it. But now very contrary equation and chemistry are on display. NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena are sharing the ideas as opposed to the expectation of the whole electorate.

Democracy
Politics in India might lead to a sinking democracy.

One believes it’s Congress and its High common which Shiv Sena Supremo Late Bal Thackeray always disliked and ruthlessly held them up to ridicule. It was because they hold the opposing ideologies. But now his son Uddhav Thackeray kneeled down and sought the helping hand of those rival camps to walk the party through for the chair of Chief Minister. Going by the flood of comments on the social media, this party has ostensibly fallen from the grace. BJP is not a holy cow either. It is equally good at flexes its muscles for the power.

Also Read- Being Terrorized Comes With Job for Women in Politics

While Maharashtra is already under the president rule, the NCP and Congress now exploring all possible means to back Shiv Sena.   Uddhav Thackeray only wants to see his son Aditya Thackeray being the Chief Minister of one of the riches states in the country. The trend is not at all healthy. Here everything is utterly clear that the cherished values of democracy in India are fast eroding. Majority of the states in the country, only the “particularly families” are  always standing up to rule the roost. This is a bigger threat to the fundamental values of the country.The NATION is no more controlled by the government of the people, nor is it for the people. It is the government of the particular families which is formed for the fulfillment of the low greed and narrow aspiration of those particular families. Lastly, it is the common people who are always at the receiving end of the leaders’ whims and tantrums. Phew, the country is not at all in the safe hands.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali