AIMIM to field 25 candidates in Karnataka Assembly polls 2023, eyes tie-up with JD(S)

In the 2018 polls for the 224-member Assembly in Karnataka, AIMIM had backed the JD(S) and not fielded any candidates.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 04, 2023 | 4:33 PMUpdatedApr 04, 2023 | 4:33 PM

AIMIM Karnataka chief Usman Ghani with Asaduddin Owaisi and other Karnataka state leaders. (Twitter)

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM plans to field candidates in about 25 constituencies and is eyeing an electoral alliance with the JD(S) in the Assembly elections in Karnataka, the party’s state unit president Osman Ghani said on Tuesday, 4 April.

Speaking to PTI, party chief Owaisi said: “So far, we have announced three candidates. We are open for alliance. We will definitely contest the elections. Whether we will have an alliance or not, we will have to wait (and see).”

Also read: Several incumbent legislators exit BJP and JD(S) in Karnataka

In talks with JD(S)

State unit chief Ghani said the party is in talks with the JD(S) headed by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda for an alliance, but the latter is yet to respond to the offer.

He said the party would contest in about 25 segments in the state.

In the 2018 polls for the 224-member Assembly in Karnataka, AIMIM had backed the JD(S) and not fielded any candidates.

Asked about parties with which AIMIM is open for alliance, Owaisi, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member, said: “Congress does not want to have an alliance because they make wild and baseless allegations against me. So, we will see.”

Owaisi termed as “completely illegal” the Basavaraj Bommai government’s recent decision to scrap four percent reservation for Muslims within the OBC category, and expressed indignation: “Why weren’t there protests? Why weren’t strong statements emanated from so-called secular leaders and parties?”

Also read: BJP yet to finalise Karnataka Assembly poll candidates

‘Division’ of Muslim vote

On the oft-repeated criticism by some parties that AIMIM fielding candidates leads to a “division” of the Muslim vote — which benefits the BJP — he wondered why such a question is not being posed to leaders of other communities such as Lingayats, Vokkaligas and Kurubas.

He also recalled that the AIMIM had not fielded candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, where the Congress could get only one seat. “Was it because of the division of Muslim vote or consolidation of ‘majority’ vote for the BJP?” Owaisi asked.

The AIMIM leader noted that the BJP formed the government in Karnataka in 2019 with the help of defectors from the Congress.

The AIMIM, earlier released the first list of the party candidates contesting in Karnataka.

The list of three were Lateef Khan Amirkhan Pathan from Belagavi North, Durgappa Kashappa Bijawad from Hubli Dharwad East, and Allabaksh Mehboob Sab Bijapur from Basavana Bagewadi.

Owaisi had also said that the AIMIM would be contesting in the Rajasthan Assembly elections.

(With PTI inputs)