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Narayan Rane fielded in Mumbai bypolls only to stop MIM chariot in Maharshtra
Hyderabad based party confidence of victory in Bandra (East) by-elections, to increase its state tally from 02 to 03, say party leaders
Friday April 3, 2015 11:33 AM, News Network

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, leaders Friday accused the Congress of fielding its senior leader and a former Shiv Sainik Narayan Rane in Bandra (East) assembly constituency as they have a nexus with the communal forces.

Rabar Siraj Khan
 [The MIM candidate for Bandra (East) by poll Siraj Rehbar Khan on the campaign trail.]

The MIM also said that the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), afraid of the Hyderabad based party's victory in the 2014 assembly elections, now want to defeat the MIM candidate at any cost.
"The results of the 2014 assembly elections were shocking for the Congress and NCP. It was not because of their defeat at the hands of the BJP and Shiv Sena. It was because of the massive support and votes the MIM candidates had received from the Muslim and Dalit communities", party MLA from Aurangabad Imtiyaz Jaleel said while talking to the
"The two parties had always won the election on Muslim and Dalit votes but did nothing for them. Instead, they made it sure that the two backward communities remain their political slaves - without any political power and sans a strong leadership. In MIM, the backwards saw an alternate. This new development sent shock waves in the Congress and NCP circles", he said.
He also accused the Congress and NCP of working on one point agenda to defeat the MIM in Bandra (East).
"The only reason they have fielded Narayan Rane in the Bandra (East) by-poll is to stop the MIM. They don't care if Shiv Sena retains the seat", he added.
The Bandra (East) by-poll has resulted due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Bala Sawant. While the Sena has fielded his widow Trupti Swant as its candidate, the MIM has fielded Rahbar Siraj Khan as its candidate.
Rahbar Siraj Khan had in the 2014 October assembly elections polled 23,976 votes - much more than the Congress candidate's 12,229 votes. Sena's Bala Sawant, who defeated BJP's Mahesh Parkar by 15,000 votes, had got 41,388 votes.
In the by-poll scheduled to be held on April 11, the BJP has extended support to the Sena candidate, whereas the NCP has declared support for Narayan Rane - the Congress candidate and a former Shiv Sena leader.

The MIM leaders this time expect more support for the party as they believe the Muslim and Dalit voters after the victory of the MIM in the 2014 elections, and performance of the two party MLAs in and outside the assembly, are showing faith in them.

"The Muslim and Dalit voters are fed up of the double standard and hypocrisy of the Congress and NCP leaders. There is no chance for them to vote for the Shiv Sena candidate. Hence the MIM candidate is the best choice for them in the by-election", MIM MLA from Mumbai's Byculla area Waris Pathan said.

Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP leaders are accusing the MIM of helping the Shiv Sena by dividing Muslim votes.

"The MIM candidate will only divide the Muslim votes and it will help the Sena candidate", former minister Arif Naseem Khan said.

The MIM senior leader Akbaruddin Owaisi however rejects the allegations saying it has become customary for the Congress to issue such statements during elections.

"There is nothing new in such allegations. The Congress is famous for issuing such statements during elections. If the Congress is really worried about the division of Muslim votes, it should support the MIM candidate, who had polled more votes in the last election", he said.

He said the MIM should have backed the Congress if it had fielded a Muslim candidate in the election as the constituency has a good number of Muslim voters.

According to the election commission record, the Bandra (East) constituency, mainly dominated by Maharashtrians from the Konkan region, Dalits and Muslims, has around 80,000 Muslim and around 50,000 Dalit voters.

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