After putting up an impressive show in the Maharashtra assembly polls, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslemeen or MIM is set to spread its wings in Jharkhand as well.
The Asaduddin Owasi-led party is looking at winning at least 10-12 seats in the five-phase assembly polls between November 25 and December 20.
MIM in-charge for Jharkhand and Bihar Maulana Munawwar told HT over phone that several candidates from Jharkhand, particularly Ranchi and Jamshedpur, have been meeting them for the last few days. “We are exploring the possibility of at least 10-12 assembly segments in Jharkhand with a sizeable Muslim population. Our strategy is to end exploitation of Muslims and Dalits as vote-banks by major political parties,” he said.
Owasi has been keen to put up candidates from Jamshedpur (West), Gandey, Hatia, Hazaribag, Mahagama, Mandar, Rajmahal, Godda, Giridih, Jamtara and Pakur. Mango Welfare Association president Dr Afroz Shakil is said to have been finalised for Jamshedpur (West) seat. “Our president and top leadership are assessing the ground realities of the seats and potential of the candidates. The final list may be out in a day or two,” Munawwar said.
MIM could play spoilsport, in most of the above mentioned seats which have a sizeable Muslim population. Interestingly, BJP has not fielded a single Muslim candidate in its list of candidates for 63 seats while Congress has so far announced Sarfaraj Ahmed from Gandey, Mannan Mallik from Dhanbad and Shahzada Ahmed from Ramgarh.
MIM had fielded 24 candidates in the Maharashtra assembly polls, 16 of whom from Mumbai.
If the party manages to repeat a success story similar to Maharashtra, it may further spread its reach to states like UP, Bihar and West Bengal, which have a sizeable Muslim population.