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MIM strengthens its position in Hyderabad


Hyderabad : No matter which party gets power in Andhra Pradesh and which party bags the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats from the state, voters in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency always elect the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

The delimitation of constituencies has come as a boon for the Muslim political party as it improved its tally in the state assembly from five to seven seats, while retaining Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for the eighth consecutive term.

MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi won the seat for the second term despite stiff challenge from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate Zahid Ali Khan, editor of Urdu daily Siasat who had the support of TDP allies Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Communist Party Of India (CPI) and Communist party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

The London-educated barrister had first won the seat in 2004, when his father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi made way for him after representing the seat for six consecutive terms since 1984.

The young Muslim leader, who took over as MIM president last year after the death of his father, defeated Khan by a majority of 113,865 votes. The MIM chief secured 308,361 votes while his nearest rival polled 194,196 votes.

This was the first election after delimitation of the constituency, which earlier had three out of seven assembly segments in the rural areas. The delimitation increased the percentage of Muslim voters from 50 percent to 70 percent.

In the previous elections, the MIM had the BJP as its main rival. The BJP’s senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu had also contested unsuccessfully from this constituency in 1996.

MIM, which had an unofficial understanding with the ruling Congress party, maintained its supremacy in the assembly elections too, winning the two newly created assembly constituencies in the city and increasing its tally from five to seven.

Asaduddin’s younger brother Akbaruddin Owaisi won the Chandrayangutta assembly seat for the third consecutive term. Akbaruddin will continue to be the party’s leader in the assembly.

The party also retained its traditional strongholds of Charminar, Yakutpura and Karwan and won the newly created Bahadurpura and Nampally constituencies. The MIM also wrested the Malakpet seat from the Congress party. Asifnagar, the constituency won by MIM in 2004, was scrapped in the delimitation.

While the MIM improved its tally, the number of Muslim candidates in 294-member assembly remained at 11.

Three Muslims candidates of the Congress and one from the TDP were elected to the assembly. However, two Muslim ministers Mohammed Ali Shabbir and Mohammed Fareeduddin were defeated.

The number of Muslims MPs from the state came down from two to one. In 2004, Nizamuddin of the Congress was elected from Hindupur Lok Sabha constituency but this time the party fielded Khasim Khan, who lost the election to the TDP candidate.

Muslims constitute about 10 percent of the 57.8 million voters in the state.