[AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi addressing a public meeting in Malegaon during the 2017 civic elections (Photo: ummid.com)]
Malegaon: With the Congress and Shiv Sena coming together and Azeem Ittehad of the Nationalist Congress Party and Janata Dal (Secular) joining hands with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections in Malegaon, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has been left facing a classic catch-22 situation.
At one time during counting of votes it looked imminent that the AIMIM will win seats in double figures and play a kingmaker in Malegaon civic body politics. But, for the unexpected result of ward no. 17 where AIMIM Malegaon President Abdul Malik and two other party candidates lost the election, the party ended with just 07 seats and a shattered dream of playing kingmaker.
Development in the last three days however brought the AIMIM into limelight once again and the Hyderabad based party now surely has the power to decide who will rule the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) for the next two and half years.
The Congress party won 28 seats in the May 24 elections and emerged as the single largest party. The Shiv Sena won 13 seats and it struck a pact with the Congress for the Mayor and Deputy elections to be held on June 14. But, their joint tally is still two short of the magic number of 43 to win the elections in the house of 84.
On the other hand, after Congress-Shiv Sena pact, Azeem ittehad of NCP and Janata Dal (Secular) reached out to the BJP and announced that they will support each other in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections.
The Azeem Ittehad comprising NCP, Janata Dal (S) and 01 independent corporator has a strength of 27 members. Adding to this the BJP’s 09 members, the group will have a support of 36 members.
Against this backdrop, Azeem Ittehad-BJP combine can win elections if and only if Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM decides to vote for them. Whereas, the Congress-Shiv Sena combine can sail through if the AIMIM decides to abstain from voting.
The AIMIM has already announced that as per the party’s policy it will maintain equal distance from the “communal” BJP and Shiv Sena as well as the “corrupt” Congress.
The AIMIM’s announcement came when there was strong indication that the Congress and Azeem Ittehad will strike a deal with each ruling the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) election for two and half years.
The latest unexpected development in the Malegaon politics has however left the AIMIM only with limited options and all of them dangerous for the party in the longer run.
The local leaders are tightlipped on the issue whereas the senior party leaders in Hyderabad when contacted said an appropriate decision will be taken in due course but refused to divulge more details.
It will be therefore interesting to see what position the AIMIM’s 07 corporators take on June 14 during the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections in Malegaon.