With AAP and AIMIM contesting the upcoming civic body polls in Gujarat, the Congress is likely to see a split in its voters particularly in Muslim-dominated areas. But the party’s MLA feels that AIMIM’s entry won’t have much impact.
Congress MLA Imran Khedawala said, “Gujarat voters are secular enough and will not fall for the AIMIM’s political ideology.” Talking to Gujarat Exclusive, Jamalpur-Khadia MLA said voters in Gujarat believe in brotherhood and are clever enough to understand vote polarisation. “The AIMIM lacks party workers and a base in Gujarat. It has only candidates. We (Congress) will go to people with the work we have done during our tenures,” said Khedawala.
AIMIM to benefit BJP: Congress MLA Imran Khedawala
He said AIMIM’s entry will benefit BJP as was witnessed in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections recently. BJP rose from 4 seats to 48 seats in Hyderabad civic polls. Also, the seats where AIMIM contested in Bihar ended up benefiting BJP, Imran Khedawala said.
The Congress MLA said Owaisi talks about increasing Muslim political representation but contests polls from seats that already have adequate Muslim representatives. “How can this increase Muslim’s political representation,” the Congress MLA asked.
Imran Khedawala further added that AIMIM party members are silent when questioned about contesting elections from other seats like Bopal, Maninagar, and Odhav. “They don’t respond to this question. I have worked for people even when I was not elected as a corporator and am confident that we will win four seats in Khadia and 8 seats in Jamalpur. So it is mission 12 for us, he said.
Taking a jibe at former Congress MLA and now AIMIM state chief – Sabir Kabliwala, Imran Khedawala said people know him as he had contested as an Independent in the 2012 Assembly election to woo the BJP. This resulted in Bhushan Bhatt winning the election for the very first time from the Jamalpur-Khadia constituency.
The local body elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases. In the first phase on February 21, elections will be held for municipal corporations. The results for the elections will be declared on February 23.
In the second phase on February 28, elections will be organized for municipalities, district panchayats, and taluka panchayats. The results for the second phase will be declared on March 2.
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