MUMBAI : The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which has succeeded in making inroads in Maharashtra, was by and large responsible for the defeat of the Congress in 13 seats, 11 of which went to the BJP and its estranged ally, the Shiv Sena, in the recent state elections.
The MIM had fielded 24 candidates across the state, especially in and around Mumbai as well as in Marathwada, and won two seats -- Byculla in Mumbai and Aurangabad Central in Marathwada. Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the BJP’s campaign in Mumbai from Byculla.
The erosion of Congress votes triggered by the MIM had helped the BJP’s Atul Save to win the Aurangabad East seat, a Congress preserve. Save got 64,528 votes, while MIM’s Abdul Gaffar Kadri came second with 60,268 votes with the Congress’ Rajendra Darda ending up in third place.
The Sena retained Parbhani seat, where the MIM came second. The MIM also engineered the victory of the Sena and the BJP in Muslim dominated Bhiwandi (East) and Bhiwandi (West), respectively.
Newly elected MIM legislator from Aurangabad Central Imtiaz Jalil, a former journalist, said people were attracted towards his party because they felt duped by other parties. Social activist Vishwambhar Choudhary said the feeling of insecurity among the Muslims was the reason for the MIM’s rise in the state.