After an intense fortnight of canvassing, and at the final public meeting ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of being unable to stop a ‘genocide’ in Delhi ‘right under his nose’.
Mr. Owaisi was speaking in Khilwat, where he reiterated that injured youths were forced to sing the national anthem. One of the youths, identified as Faizan, succumbed to his injuries. “Till now, not a single officer of the Delhi Police, which is under Amit Shah, has been suspended. This is BJP’s great work. There were riots in Delhi, over 20 places of worship were damaged or burnt. Over 50 died, including our Hindu and Muslim brothers,” he said.
The Hyderabad parliamentarian also criticised UP CM Yogi Adityanath for his handling of the Hathras rape, and said that the parents of the victim were not allowed to attend the last rites. During the 2019 parliamentary election, the party had 222 legislators in Bihar and now the numbers have dwindled to 75, he said.
During the public meeting, and days after his announcement of fielding candidates in the upcoming West Bengal polls, Mr. Owaisi’s party sought to reach out to the city’s Bengali community. The party brought on stage Deepa Das and Himanto Sardar, both members of this community and residents of the Old City, who said that they have been living in Hyderabad for several years and have taken part in its development. They also said that they had supported other parties, but the MIM had come forward to help them. The AIMIM has been trying to make headway into the Ghansi Bazaar division, which has a substantial number of Bengali voters.
In the run-up to the polls, the MIM campaigned vigorously, criss-crossing across wards in its bastion of the Old City and other parts of the town as well. Interestingly, the party did not release its list of candidates officially. However, according to data, which the GHMC shared with the media, as many as 51 of its candidates are in the fray, nine less than those it fielded in the 2016 civic polls. It did not field candidates in wards such as Attapur, Amberpet and Old Bowenpally.
Those in the know said that the party was not contesting in divisions where they had contested previously as it would result in a straight contest between the TRS and BJP.