Is Muslim Mahamanthan Facilitating AIMIM’s Entry in Gujarat’s Electoral Politics?

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Muslim Mahamanthan event was organized at the Mirzapur Chowk in Ahmedabad.

AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan lambasted both Congress and BJP, says its time for the ‘deprived’ to hit back rather than continuing to “suffer”

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani | Caravan Daily

AHMEDABAD — The recently organized Muslim Mahamanthan programme in Ahmedabad, by the sympathizers of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), the political party of Hyderabad based Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi has raised speculations for the party’s entry in electoral politics of Gujarat’s local elections which is slated in 2020. There are ample indications that the party will soon start organizational work and membership drive in Gujarat.

The Muslim Mahamanthan event had young social activist Abdul Ahad Pathan and his team play a vital role in having it organized at the Mirzapur Chowk, in walled city — a heavily Muslim dominated area. Waris Pathan, MLA of the AIMIM from Byculla constituency, Mumbai had been invited as the chief guest. Some Famous ulemas, activists and even some former Congressmen were spotted on the stage.

AIMIM MLA asked Dalits and Muslims to come together and reject national parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Speaking at the Mahamanthan conference Pathan, in his usual aggressive speech lambasted both national parties — Congress and BJP. He said, “The third front is the need of the hour. It is time for the deprived Muslims to hit back rather than continuing to suffer as they have been in the past 70 years.”

The AIMIM MLA even took a dig at the Congress and the ruling BJP. He claimed that the two parties had got elected on the votes of the ‘deprived’ classes, especially the Muslim votes, but had only meted out injustice to them.

He further added that Congress and BJP are in Hindutva mode. He alleged that Congress’s so-called mask of secularism was taken off when he was suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly as he had refused to chant Bharat Mata KiJai slogan. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was also criticized heavily when he visited a number of temples in Gujarat, just ahead of its state Assembly election last year.

He said, “Over the years, Muslim representation in the Gujarat assembly has shrunk. Despite accounting for nearly a tenth of the state’s population, its representation has reduced — just three representatives in the current assembly comprising 182 MLAs.” He advocated Muslim empowerment in all fronts including politics and reservation for the community.

Mufti Abdul Qayyum, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack, also addressed the gathering. He appealed to the Muslims to show and practice virtue, morality and good manners and character to win the hearts of all human being.

Some other ulemas and social activists including Advocate Shamshad Pathan graced the Mahamanthan. Some former Congress Muslim leaders were also seen on the stage which gave hints about AIMIM’s entry, which may bring some bad news for the grand old party – Congress.

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(Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior journalist based in Ahmedabad. He is editor of Gujarat Siyasat)

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