BENGALURU:After making a grand announcement on contesting the Assembly elections in Karnataka, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asadudin Owaisi has now said that the party is “yet to decide” if it will contest the polls. A crucial meeting scheduled on April 10 in Hyderabad will take this decision.
“I have been called for a meeting on Tuesday. A decision on whether we are contesting and for how many seats will be taken,” said Usman Ghani, Karnataka state chief of AIMIM. Usman had previously claimed that the party will contest in at least 60 seats across the state.Owaisi had confidently declared that his party will contest the May 12 Assembly polls in Karnataka. His statements had led Congress leaders in the state to term him BJP’s plant to divide minority community votes.
Months after the announcement, Owaisi has now stated that his party is yet to take a call on contesting the polls. “I have never given a statement on the number of seats. We will take a decision on what has to be done about the election,” Owaisi told The New Indian Express.When asked if this meant that his party was contemplating contesting the polls, Owaisi said, “Don’t put words in my mouth. I have said that we will decide in a couple of days.”
Karnataka state office bearers of AIMIM will meet Owaisi at the party headquarters in Darussalam in Hyderabad. The decision taken at the meeting will have the capacity to the equations of which way the Muslims votes in Karnataka will swing.
“If they decide to support us, Muslim votes will be divided. If they decide to support the Congress, Muslims votes will be consolidated in their favour. If they choose to remain neutral then the field is open,” said P G R Scindhia of the JD(S).
H D Kumaraswamy’s party was in the process of forging a pre-poll alliance with AIMIM, which has now come to a halt. Mediators of both the parties are likely to begin negotiations after the AIMIM meeting on Tuesday.AIMIM had earlier hoped to contest in about 60 minority dominant constituencies, especially in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.