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Is Muslim Mahamanthan a platform for AIMIM to enter in Gujarat electoral politics?

Byculla AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan lambasted both Congress and BJP saying that it was time for the ‘deprived’ to hit back rather than continue ‘suffering’ as was the case in the past 70 years

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: Close on the heels of Muslim Mahamanthan program in Ahmedabad, it seems that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Hyderabad-based political party headed by Asaduddin Owaisi may enter into electoral politics during Gujarat local elections slated to be held in 2020. There were ample indications that party will start organisational work and membership drive soon.

Muslim Mahamanthan program was recently organised by AIMIM sympathizer and a young social activist Abdul Ahad Pathan and his team at Mirzapur Chowk in walled city, a heavily Muslim dominated area in Ahmedabad. Waris Pathan, AIMIM legislator (MLA) from Mumbai’s Byculla constituency was the chief guest. Some Ulemas, social activists and even some former Congressmen were seen seated on the stage.

Mr. Pathan asked Dalits and Muslims to come together and reject national parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Speaking at a Manthan conference, Pathan, in usual aggressive speech, lambasted both national parties –Congress and BJP. He said that Third Front was the need of the hour, and that it was time for the “deprived” Muslims to hit back rather than continue “suffering” as was the case in the past 70 years.

AIMIM Muslim Mahamanthan GujaratPathan took a dig at the Congress and the ruling BJP and claimed the two parties had got elected on the votes of the “deprived” classes especially Muslims votes, but had only meted out injustice to them. He further added that Congress and BJP were in Hindutva mode. Congress’ so-called secularism mask was exposed when he was suspended from Maharashtra Assembly on the issue of Bharat Mata ki Jai slogan, when he refused to utter the slogan loudly. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also came in for heavy criticism from Pathan for visiting many temples in Gujarat during state assembly election last year and ignoring Muslims.

He said that over the years, Muslim representation in the Gujarat assembly has shrunk. Despite accounting for nearly a tenth of the state’s population, its representation has reduced to just three in the current assembly of 182 MLAs. He advocated Muslim empowerment at all fronts including politics and reservation for the community.

Mufti Abdul Qayyum, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack some year back, also spoke. He appealed Muslims to show and to practice virtue, morality and good manners and character to win the hearts of all human being. Some other ulemas and social activists including Advocate Shamshad Pathan graced the Mahamanthan. Few former Congress Muslim leaders were also seen on the stage which gave hints that AIMIM entry may bring some bad days for grand old party Congress at the hustings.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is Editor of Gujarat Siyasat. He is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad and regularly contributes to IndianMuslimObserver.com – India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]]

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