For the first time since 1984, All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a dominant force in local politics, is facing a tough challenge in Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat from grand alliance candidate Zahid Ali Khan.
Khan, the editor of popular Urdu daily ‘Siasat’, is being supported by TDP, TRS, CPI and CPM besides actor Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). Opposition parties TDP, TRS, CPI, CPM have joined hands to form a grand alliance against the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
On the other hand, MIM has the tacit support of Congress, with which it has allied in the past.
The MIM, which is retaining the prestigious seat since 1984, however, rejected Khan as no match to party President and candidate from the constituency, Asaduddin Owaisi, who won the last two elections from with huge margins.
The delimitation exercise has come as a shot in the arm for MIM as three rural segments, Chevella, Tandur and Vikarabad, which have largely non-Muslim votes, have been separated from Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat.
Owaisi has said his contest is with BJP, the party’s traditional rival, and Khan stands little chance.
The MIM had suffered a split when Majlis Bachao Tehreek was floated by former MLA Amanullah Khan, but this has not dented the local party’s dominance in Hyderabad, especially the walled city areas.