Mumbai: All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (MIM) has indicated that the alliance with Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi isn’t over yet. “Our gates are still open for Ambedkar, but he should give us more seats” said MIM Maharashtra President and Aurangabad MP Imtiaz Jaleel. He was speaking at the BBC News Marathi’s Rashtra Maharashtra programme in Aurangabad today.
The two parties – MIM and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi fought 2019 Lok Sabha elections together and won from Aurangabad seat, which was earlier held by Shiv Sena for nearly three decades. When popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped the saffron alliance win over 40 seats in Maharashtra, consolidation of Muslim and Dalit votes in Aurangabad surprized many.
The alliance between the two parties was being considered to be the third force in Maharashtra Assembly elections in October 2019, however, things started falling apart in recent weeks. MIM Party stated ‘’Prakash Ambedkar offered only 8 seats out of 288 and the two parties will fight the elections separately’’. MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi reiterated the alliance was over.
Prakash Ambedkar, on the other hand, maintained the alliance wasn’t over and MIM should hold the talks again on seat-sharing. Now for the first time, MIM has shown willingness to return to the table, albeit with the pre-condition of an increased share of seats in assembly elections.
‘‘I am targeted because I’m a Muslim’’ stated Imtiaz Jaleel. He also admitted in the show that not attending the flag hoisting ceremony on 17th September was a ‘mistake’ and that he would attend it next year.
Every year on 17th September ‘Marathwada Mukti Sangram Din’ anniversary is celebrated. It marks the liberation of Marathwadas in 1948, when the Indian military invaded State of Hyderabad and defeated the Nizam to merge Hyderabad into the Indian Republic. Jaleel’s party, (MIM) had - in its previous avatar - links with Razakars, who had opposed the freedom movement.
Jaleel said, he was busy in meetings on 17 September and the local media targeted him for being a Muslim. “Will you ever ask a Shiv Sena leader why he did not attend flag ceremony? Why do I need a certificate of my love for my nation” stated Jaleel.
Is Congress-Shiv Sena alliance possible" Shiv Sena lawmaker Ambadas Danve cited in the same programme that a possibility of a grand alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP cannot be ruled out. “Any possibility cannot be ruled out in politics,” Danve said when asked about various possibilities in case the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance breaks.
However, Satyajeet Tambe - State President of Maharashtra Youth Congress said in BBC Marathi programme, “Our ideologies don’t match at all. Therefore, such an alliance won’t be possible. We did not even go with the MNS, when the proposal was made’’.
The two leaders came together in condemning comments made by a TV presenter about Aditya Thackeray and Rahul Gandhi. However, the Shiv Sena leader Danve was found praising Rahul Gandhi for his “hard work over the last 5 years”.
‘Mrs Fadnavis should be supported’ Disha Sheikh, spokesperson of Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi said in response to a question posed by young student about frequent trolling of Amruta Fadnavis. She further said “A woman should support a woman, who is victimised by online trolls.”
“Yes, we will support the CM’s wife, but how about supporting the common women?” asked young NCP leader Sakshana Salgar. Known for her fiery speeches, Sakshana is willing to contest the upcoming Assembly Election.
Swabhimani farmers party leader - Pooja More, who came to limelight after protesting at CM’s rally, supported Sakshana and said, “when I was forcefully removed from the protest, the policeman treated me like a common woman. But when the CM’s wife gets trolled, she gets special treatment.”
‘’Every woman should be treated with dignity’’, local Shiv Sena leader Yashashri Bakhriya and Congress leader Kalyani Mangave said unanimously.