Though the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) won fewer votes than in the 2014 assembly election, its tally of 15,050 still managed to deal a major blow to the Congress.
The party attributed the slide in its votes to the sympathy wave for Trupti Swant, and said it would introspect. “All our opponents were in alliances while we fought alone,” said Waaris Pathan, AIMIM legislator from Byculla. “Many Muslims voted for the Sena because of sympathy for Bala Sawant, who was popular among them,” he said.
AIMIM candidate Rehbar Khan got 15,050 votes. He had won 23,976 in the assembly polls.
The next challenge for the AIMIM is the Aurangabad civic polls, where it has one legislator and hopes to perform well. It is also hoping to make a mark in the 2017 BMC polls.
“The AIMIM got fewer votes because of the decline in voting percentage, but its tally is still good. Without a party base or resources, it has been able to score by exploiting the problems facing the Muslim community,” said Prakash Bal, a political analyst. “With this performance, it will be able to get a couple of corporators elected to the BMC,” he said.
The Congress dismissed the AIMIM effect. “Muslims are realising that any vote for AIMIM is an indirect vote for the Sena-BJP and this was seen in Bandra,” said Amin Patel, Congress MLA. “Muslims are turning back to the Congress as they realise AIMIM just misleading them.”