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Published On: Fri, Feb 24th, 2017

AIMIM Gains Foothold In Mumbai Civic Body BMC

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OwaisiMUMBAI:  Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM won three seats in the BMC polls in Mumbai today, getting a foot in India’s richest civic body.

The AIMIM, contesting the Mumbai civic election for the first time, fielded 59 candidates, mainly in Muslim-dominated areas. It has also won five seats in the Solapur civic body.Among the nine non-Muslim candidates that AIMIM fielded in Mumbai was three-time Congress corporator Waqarunnissa Ansari.

Mr Owaisi held off on declaring a manifesto for a long time but finally came up with a 40-point action programme in which he promised mineral water to slum dwellers and meals at Rs. 5 for the poorest. He also reached out to Muslims, promising to help the poorest among them get jobs in the government and the police and also offering a special scheme to build homes for them.

This is Mr Owaisi’s second successful election debut in Maharashtra. In 2014, the AIMIM scored two out of 24 seats it contested in its first Maharashtra assembly election, defeating candidates of the Shiv Sena and the BJP and establishing itself as a serious player.

For years considered a bit party, AIMIM’s strategy to widen its base beyond Andhra Pradesh has been to contest limited seats in other states, mainly in areas dominated by Muslims and Dalits – who were once loyal to parties like the Congress and NCP but say they are now disillusioned.
In 2012, the AIMIM won 11 seats in the 81-member Nanded Municipal Corporation elections. A year after the Maharashtra polls, it emerged the second largest party in the Aurangabad municipal elections, winning 26 of 113 seats.Around 55 per cent cast their vote in the BMC polls this year, which is the highest turnout in 25 years in Mumbai.

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