Efforts to prevent Muslim votes division in coming Tamil Nadu assembly election

By Gowtham K

As All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is trying to extend its footprints in down south state, Tamil Nadu, the Congress state unit has stepped up efforts to prevent division of Muslim votes in the coming assembly election.  Asaduddin Owaisi commands some pockets of influence in the state and wants to be part of the DMK-led alliance which is billed as a prospective winner in the next election for state legislature.

Congress, which is an important ally of Stalin-led DMK,  has intensified its efforts to unite the Muslim-led political outfits  in Tamil Nadu to mobilize them against the possible split of Muslim votes in case AIMIM plunges into electoral fray.

After the Bihar elections, apprehension is gaining ground that MIM’s entry may cause a division of votes as Owaisi was criticized for RJD-led Mahaghatbandhan failure to pip the JD (U)-led NDA in the election.

The Hyderabad MP Owaisi has announced that it will contest in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. In order to check cracks in Muslim votes, Congress central leadership asked the state Congress to forge alliance Tamil-based Muslim parties in the state.

Speaking to a Tamil daily, Congress national executive said, the victory in the freedom struggle was due to the joint struggle of Hindus and Muslims. Hindu-Muslim unity is essential to defeat the BJP and its allies, which are currently pursuing a divisive strategy like the British. It has been ordered to emphasize this among Muslims touring Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. ”

In this context, some of the key leaders of the Tamil Nadu Congress have embarked upon a mission to convince the pitfalls of MIM entry in the state. These had also taken part in the anti-CAA movement and  toured nine districts 0f the state including Thirunelveli, Madurai and Salem where Muslims are in good numbers. Muslim leaders from other parties, including DMK are also expected to attend such meetings. The two main Muslim parties are in the DMK alliance namely the All India Muslim League and the Prof Jawaharullah’s Manithaneya Makkal Katchi.  Some Muslim parties including the Manithaneya Jananayaga katchi, Social Democratic Party of India are also seeking to join the DMK alliance.

It is said Owaisi has also made overtures to join DMK bandwagon but he is yet to get any positive response from the alliance. DMK finds it difficult to accommodate all-Muslim-led political parties in the alliance as assembly seats distribution will be a tricky task. Furthermore, BJP may use it to attack the DMK and Congress calling them as “anti-Hindu”.  Therefore, DMK is taking every step carefully in choosing alliance partners. It is AIMIM has quite a good influence in Muslim populated areas such as Ambur, Vaniyambadi and Krishnagiri which are closed to Andhra Pradesh border.

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