MIM eyes debut in Delhi

Former Matia Mahal legislator Shoaib Iqbal may contest the upcoming Assembly polls on a ticket of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) as the Muslim party seems inclined to debut in city politics with the five-time MLA as the Delhi unit chief.

 Iqbal, who won the last election on a Janata Dal-United ticket, told Deccan Herald: “I am in contact with the MIM, the party has offered me to head the city unit and contest in the next election.”

“Nothing is final yet, the talks are still on,” he said.  “I am sincerely considering the offer given to me from the MIM as this time the Muslim community wants to consolidate its votes to stop communal forces from winning," added Iqbal.

MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said: “After Lucknow, the MIM wants to spread its reach. Establishing itself in Delhi is its top priority.

Political experts, however, do not see the entry of the MIM stirring up the Delhi poll outcomes. Zoya Hasan, Former Jawaharlal Nehru University professor, said: “I think the MIM is not going to alter any political calculation in Delhi.”

“It will be a very small player,” Hasan said.
Delhi Congress Chief spokesman said: “After the recent tension in Trilokpuri. The city’s secular voter is going to support the Congress and not any other party. The MIM’s entry will not have any bearing on our performance.”

Iqbal, who has never lost an election since 1993 despite contesting on different party tickets, disagreed.

”The recent communal tension in parts of Delhi, particularly in Trilokpuri, had put a question mark on the Aam Aadmi Party’s seriousness about safeguarding the interests of Muslims,” he said.

"The community is angry with the AAP’s MLA,” he said.
He added that the Muslim voters are always expected to either support the BJP, the Congress or the AAP.

“Now they want their true representative,” he said. The MIM recently won two Assembly seats in Maharashtra. Since its victory, the MIM is planning to contest several state Assembly elections, including Delhi.

The MIM, which currently has seven MLAs in the Telangana Assembly, all from Old City of Hyderabad, and one MP from Hyderabad, is poised for a bigger role.

The MIM came into prominence after a victory in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat in 1984. Since then, the Hyderabad seat has never been won by any other party.

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