Karnataka polls: Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM to back Janata Dal (Secular)
Bengaluru: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Monday officially backed out from contesting the 12 May Karnataka assembly elections.
Instead the Hyderabad-based political party, led by Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi, announced its support to former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) in the upcoming polls.
“AIMIM has decided to support JD(S) in the Karnataka assembly elections @hd_kumaraswamy we want non-Congress & non-BJP govt in Karnataka for qualitative development. AIMIM will not be fielding any candidates. I will address public meetings in support of JD(S) if there is need,” Owaisi said on Twitter on Monday.
“All our efforts and endeavours would be to ensure that the JD(S) gets the maximum number of seats. (H.D.) Kumaraswamy should become the chief minister and the party led by Deve Gowda should be ruling Karnataka,” the Press Trust of India reported on Monday, quoting Owaisi.
AIMIM’s support to JD(S) comes at a time when the regional party has actively scouted for partnerships and support to defeat the two national parties, BJP and Congress. The JD(S) is hoping to better its chances by actively sealing pre-poll alliances to increase its 2013 tally, when it bagged 40 seats.
The JD(S) has announced a partnership with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati-led BSP and former Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). K. Chandrashekhar Rao, chief minister of Telangana, appealed to Telugu-speaking voters in Karnataka to support the JD(S) on Friday.
The AIMIM had earlier announced its willingness to contest around 60 of the 224 assembly seats in regions which include communally sensitive districts like Coastal Karnataka.
In January, Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy had alleged that AIMIM and the BJP had come to a secret understanding to split the Muslim votes to help the latter in the polls.
“We did not want to contest amid all these allegations and instead wanted to help a secular party come to power in Karnataka,” Usman Ghani, state president of the AIMIM, said.