Mumbai: Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) on Saturday announced to forge an alliance for the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls in 2019. Also Read - AIMIM's West Bengal Acting Chief Joins TMC Days After Owaisi Visited Poll-bound State
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told PTI that preliminary talks held between both parties have yielded positive results. Also Read - Bengal Elections: Asaduddin Owaisi Trains Guns on TMC After Meeting Influential Muslim Leader
“(BBM chief) Prakash Ambedkar ji will be holding a public rally in Aurangabad on October 2 in which I too will be present. The formal structure of the alliance will be announced later,” Owaisi said. Also Read - Ordinances Against Religious Conversions in BJP Ruled States Violate Constitution: Asaduddin Owaisi
Imtiyaz Jaleel, AIMIM MLA from Aurangabad, said the idea behind the alliance was that Dalits, Muslims and OBCs have been ignored for 70 years, have no proper representation in politics and were being treated as vote-banks.
“It is a shame on all so-called secular parties that there is no representation from the Muslim community in Parliament from Maharashtra. Everybody wants their votes but does not want to give them representation. Similar is the case for Dalits,” he said.
He added that once both parties come together, they would be a force to reckon with.
Jaleel, who called on Ambedkar at the latter’s home in Pune to hold preliminary talks, added that Owaisi and Ambedkar will meet before the public rally on October 2 and will decide on the structure of the alliance.
Haribhau Bhale, former MLA and BBM leader, said Dalits, Muslims and OBCs are upset with mainstream parties.
“There is a growing pressure to form an alternative. Thus, all groups that have been ignored will come together. What shape the alliance will take will be decided by party leaders,” Bhale said.
The Nationalist Congress Party, meanwhile, said that the AIMIM-BBM alliance was an experiment that would be “unimpactful”.
“These experiments were rejected in Nanded last year. People who rejected AIMIM in Nanded, from where it started, want to see the Sena and BJP and BJP defeated,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
“Why did people reject AIMIM in Nanded and BBM in Bhandara-Gondiya? Such experiments cannot gain any political benefits because people know what to do. They will prefer an alternative to the BJP and Shiv Sena. Nobody is interested in experiments. It will be unimpactful in the state,” Malik claimed.
The Congress termed Ambedkar’s joining hands with AIMIM as “unfortunate”.
“It is very unfortunate that Ambedkar ji has to go with a communal party like AIMIM. AIMIM is a party supported by the BJP and drives its agenda. It is saddening to see Ambedkar ji associate himself with such a party,” Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
(With PTI inputs)