Owaisi plans to set up MIM in Delhi before assembly polls
New Delhi: After a triumphant performance in Maharashtra, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the party whose influence till recently was restricted to Hyderabad, is now planning to establish a unit in Delhi.
"We will definitely form our party in Delhi. To establish the party here is our top priority. No decision has been taken whether to contest assembly elections or not," said MIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
Delhi is up for assembly elections in few months time.
Though denied by the MIM, sources said the party, which won two seats in Maharashtra, is said to be holding talks with ex-MLA Shoeb Iqbal, the Matia Mahal strongman, to establish its base in Delhi.
"We want a new format to be prepared in Delhi as the people here are in trouble and the way they have been betrayed a weird atmosphere has been created and there is tension," said Iqbal.
"We have talked to the MIM also. And as they have performed well in Mumbai and Hyderabad, so we want the same in Delhi also," he added.
Iqbal, who is known to contest on a different party symbol in each assembly election, aldo said he would not contest as a JD (U) candidate anymore.
Given the political scenario in Delhi, speculation is rife that the MIM may also contest the polls to galvanize the Muslim community. While Owaisi claimed that a decision regarding contesting Delhi polls had not been taken, he didn't rule out the possibility of contesting elections in Delhi.
Owaisi has already announced his decision to contest Mumbai and Aurangabad civic elections.
After Congress' rout in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party has been trying to woo the Muslims. Iqbal said AAP did manage to make a dent in Congress' minority votes during the Lok Sabha elections, due to which the community's vote got split.
"This split in the Muslim vote led to BJP's clean sweep in Delhi. This might happen again as AAP is trying to garner support of the community. But if we can consolidate the vote, we can stop BJP from getting a clear majority,'' Iqbal said, adding that he planned to field his close associates on six-seven seats where the percentage of Muslims was high.
Apart from MIM, Trinamool Congress appears to be an option for Iqbal. The party has been trying hard to establish itself in the city.
Last month, Shoeb Iqbal shared the dais with Trinamool Congress MP and Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee at a rally to protest against the "anti-secular" ways of the BJP-led central government at Jantar Mantar.
Assembly elections were held in Delhi in December 2013 but no party could win a majority. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed the government with the Congress support, it resigned in 49 days.
Most of the Congress MLAs who won the Delhi elecion were Muslims. MIM's decision to contest the Delhi polls will surely create problems for the Congress.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi commenting on MIM plans however said that every political party has the right to take its stand on elections.