All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party chief Asaduddin Owaisi announced that his party will not field candidates in the upcoming Karnataka elections. Owaisi said it was in the interest of Karnataka and the country that a non-BJP, non-Congress government comes to power. The state goes to polls on May 12.
“After due consideration and consultation, we have taken the decision that in the forthcoming Karnataka elections, our party will be supporting the JD(S) party. All our efforts and endeavours will be to ensure that JD(S) gets the maximum number of seats. Kumaraswamy should become the Chief Minister and the party led by Deve Gowda should be ruling Karnataka. And we will not be putting our candidates and I’ve spoken to Mr Kumaraswamy and I’ve assured him my support to his party and to him. He has thanked me and wherever it is possible for me to go and address public meetings, my party members and myself will go and address."
"I hope that the people of Karnataka will once again repose faith in the JD(S) so that a qualitative change can be brought in in Karnataka. And it is in the interest of Karnataka, in the interest of the nation, that a non-Congress, non-BJP government comes into power both in Karnataka and subsequently whenever the Parliament elections are held," he added.
Owaisi had reportedly approached Deve Gowda for a seat-sharing agreement, which was turned down by the JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister. The party had earlier indicated that they had identified a few constituencies in north Karnataka where they would contest from.
Owaisi’s move may benefit JD(S), as Muslim community may vote for JD(S) over Congress. However the bigger beneficiary seems to be BJP. The Hindutva inclined party knows that nit will not get bulk of Muslim votes. AIMIM supporting JD(S) will only help BJP, as the votes will get split and Congress will be the main loser.
It is also alleged that AIMIM is Plan B of BJP. The Central BJP leaders are said to be in secret pact with AIMIM and want AIMIM to harm Congress votes as much as possible. However both AIMIM and BJP have denied this news.
AIMIM has affected parties like BSP, SP and Congress in UP elections. It would be interesting to see if AIMIM will affect Congress’s poll prospects in Karnataka.