Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh): Questioning Asaduddin Owaisi’s decision to field a Dalit candidate from the Bikapur constituency of Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh for the February 13 Assembly by-election, local Muslims accused the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Chief of playing communal card for political mileage and challenged him to field a Muslim candidate in a Hindu majority constituency.
“It is not a matter of opposing Dalits or other non-Muslims. But, why field a Dalit candidate in a Muslim majority area when the community is already lagging behind other classes in terms of representation in assemblies and parliament”, Mohammad Rafique, a local Muslim, asked while talking to ummid.com.
“Does Asaduddin Owaisi have the guts to field a Muslim candidate in a Hindu majority area and get him or her elected?” he asked.
To experiment with his plan of 'Dalit-Muslim unity' ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Asaduddin Owaisi has fielded a Dalit as the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) candidate from the Muslim-dominated Bikapur constituency of Faizabad.
Pradeep Kori, a Dalit youth, who has been fielded by MIM to contest the by-poll in Bikapur constituency is the state president of 'Kori Society', an influential group in the Dalit community.
The Assembly by-poll is being held because the sitting Samajwadi Party member, Mitrasen Yadav, has died.
Echoing similar feelings, Naushad Alam, a teacher, accused the AIMIM chief of playing communal card and disturbing the already polarized situation in the state for political mileage.
“His decision to field a Dalit candidate for Bikapur assembly seat has no other reason than his self-interest to project him the messiah of Dalits, which certainly he is not”, Alam said.
"There are seats reserved for the banckwards, and Muslims have for years voted for them in elections after the election. Owaisi talks of reservation and Muslim representation but fields a non-Muslim candidate in a Muslim area. This is ridiculous", he said.
Hyderabad based Asaduddin Owaisi is on expansion drive of MIM in other parts of country. The first election outside Hyderabad his party contested was in Nanded. The MIM here succeeded in denting the Congress vote bank and winning more than 10 seats in the local polls.
The MIM later contested Maharashtra state elections and won two seats. The party then tried luck in Bihar but faced humiliating defeat.