MIM gearing up for BMC polls, says Sena spewing "real venom"
Mumbai: Upbeat with its impressive debut in Aurangabad municipal election, the MIM is now gearing up for Mumbai municipal polls to take on the saffron alliance of BJP and Shiv Sena, which is at the helm of the country's largest civic body.
Refuting the charge of Sena that MIM is “poisoning” the minds of Muslim and Dalit voters, party chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the “real potent venom” has been spewed by Sena leaders by demanding that Indian Muslims should be deprived of their voting rights.
“They can continue with their pathological hatred for us. But what finally counts is what governance have they provided in the last six months in Maharashtra or 10 months in Delhi or the last many years in Aurangabad. That has been a great let down. The (Aurangabad) results show that this hatred against me or my party is not going to give them any political dividends anymore,” Owaisi told PTI in an interview.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) made an impressive debut in Aurangabad, bagging 25 out of the total 113 seats in the municipal elections there.
The Sena has not been able to digest the “humiliation” meted out by the BJP, he said, adding that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party is only taking out the frustration that it has with its ally on the MIM.
“They keep saying I want to hoist a Pakistani flag in Aurangabad. What right do they have to question my nationalism? If I continue to fight the RSS and Shiv Sena, does it make me an anti-Indian and pro-Pakistani? What kind of nationalism is this that if we politically oppose the Sena, RSS and the BJP, my nationalism is questioned immediately?” asked the 45-year-old MP from Hyderabad.
Exuding confidence after the Aurangabad polls, Owaisi, the head of the Hyderabad-based MIM, said they would now contest more elections in the state and raise people's issues.
“We will definitely contest every election in Maharashtra and we will put forward people's issues in future as well. We are the only political party in Aurangabad which fought on the issues of drainage, water, roads, toilets, etc. Tell them to show what work have they done there in the last so many years?” he said.
“The Sena should be cautious now for the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) election because their style of functioning of getting elected by calling others names has been rejected by the people. We will show them what politics actually means. You cannot win with an agenda of Hindutva. You have to ensure development of everybody,” he said.
The BMC polls are slated for 2017.
“The real potent venom has been spewed by the Sena in the form of Sanjay Raut's words when he demands cancellation of voting rights of Muslims. If they do not change their attitude, it will be the beginning of their end,” Owaisi said.
Criticising the Sena and the BJP further, Owaisi asked what they have done in Aurangabad? Their performance has been pathetic with regards to providing civic amenities in the district located in Marathwada region, he said.
“Corruption has been ruling the corporation and there is scarcity of water, and lack of proper roads and drainage. They have to understand that (effective) governance is very important which they have failed to deliver,” he said.
Owaisi said that MIM's six Dalit candidates won in Aurangabad and asked how many Sena nominees managed to get elected there.
“Why has not a single Muslim candidate won from the Shiv Sena? This shows the Sena-BJP is not trusted. You can't take away the voting rights of Muslims only because they do not trust you. If I am poisoning the minds of voters, a charge which I squarely refute, why did the Shiv Sena not give an anti-dote to it?” he asked.
He said that the saffron combine has failed to deliver in the 10 months of rule at the Centre and asserted that the MIM will continue to create competence in the parliamentary form of democracy.
“The large number of youth participating in MIM's activities strengthens the country's democracy,” he said.