In a move that could spell trouble for the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehedual Musalmeen (AIMIM) has announced that it will put up candidates on all 403 assembly seats in the 2017 elections.
According to Mr Shaukat Ali, state president of AIMIM, the party has started the process of identifying the candidates and is focussing on constituencies that have a sizeable Muslim and Dalit population. on the slogan ‘Jai Bhim, Jai MIM’ and is working on forging a Dalit-Muslim combination.
The AIMIM may not win many seats for itself but it will definitely damage the vote base of SP and BSP. The Muslim-Dalit combination has yielded encouraging results for the AIMIM in the by-elections in the Bikapur assembly seat in in Faizabad in February this year. The AIMIM had put up a Dalit candidate Pradeep Kori who ended up at the fourth position—just 100 votes behind the BJP.If the AIMIM attempts to consolidate its formula in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is bound to suffer a depletion in its Muslim vote base while the BSP will also lose some of its Dalit votes.
According to AIMIM state president, a large number of youths from Muslim, Dalit and OBC communities are keen to contest on the party ticket in UP. “We are meeting the candidates who are seeking party tickets and soon we will submit our report to the party president Asaduddin Owaisi and the national leadership will take the final decision on the candidates,” said Mr Shaukat Ali.
Mr Ali said the party was planning to hold a massive rally in UP after Ramzan in which Mr Owaisi is expected to announce AIMIM’s road map for 2017 elections.The party has now got an active membership of over 10 lakhs. The AIMIM has already opened its account in the state last year by winning four zilla panchayat seats — one each in Azamgarh and Muzaffarnagar and two in Balrampur where two of its four candidates were Hindus.