Owaisi party to contest Karnataka polls, may tie-up with JD(S)

Owaisi party to contest Karnataka polls, may tie-up with JD(S)

Owaisi party to contest Karnataka polls, may tie-up with JD(S)

The JD(S), which has already forged an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), might soon announce yet another tie-up with a non-Karnataka party.

The JD(S) is said to be "seriously considering" the alliance proposal mooted by the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which has been keenly pursuing the regional party for the last two months.

According to sources in the JD(S), the party is considering a truck with the AIMIM mainly because of its presence in districts such as Raichur, Bagalkot, Ballari, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Bengaluru City.

While JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and senior party leader P G R Sindhia have admitted to having held the talks with AIMIM, the party's state president H D Kumaraswamy has however denied having been in conversation with the Hyderabad-based party.

But, a party insider confirmed that a decision will be arrived at in the next 4 to 5 days. "The JD(S) is thinking of letting the AIMIM contest more than a handful of seats," said a leader.

Stating that he doesn't want to comment on the alliance as yet, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told DH that his party would be "definitely contesting" the upcoming polls. Though Owaisi himself is yet to hold talks with the JD(S), he has already sent out strong feelers to its leadership.

Challenge to Congress

Owaisi, however, made no bones about his party's stand towards the Congress. The Lok Sabha member in fact threw an open challenge to the Congress to try and stop his party from contesting these elections.  

Recalling the "ill-treatment" meted out to him by the Congress government during the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls held in 2015, Owaisi said, "During the BBMP polls, I wasn't given permission to hold a single public meeting in Bengaluru. Not only was I forced out of two hotels in the city, I was not even allowed to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. Such was the treatment meted out to me by the great Congress government in Karnataka.

"But, let us see how the Congress will stop me from holding public meetings during these elections," he added.

Owaisi said that his party had a strong presence in both Mumbai-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka regions.