Mumbai: Hyderabad-based leader Asaduddin Owaisi's party the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has been derecognized as a political party in Maharashtra and can no longer contest civic body elections in Mumbai.
Along with the AIMIM, the state election commission has derecognised a total of 191 political parties citing different reasons including failure to submit Income Tax returns and audited accounts.
Though the party office said it had provided all the necessary documents and it will file appeal against the decision, the Maharashtra's election commission sayid the AIMIM did not submit relevant documents for its registration.
The parties which lost their registration also includes RPI-Khobragade faction, state election commissioner J S Saharia said here on Wednesday.
"So far, 359 political parties have been registered with the commission. Of these, 17 are recognised parties", he said.
"Notices were served to 326 parties for failure to submit necessary documents", he added.
"Despite sending reminders to them and extending the deadline on request of some of them, they have allegedly failed to submit any documents", he said.
"If the parties want to contest elections in Maharashtra, they have to register," Saharia said.
Imtiaz Jaleel, the party's Aurangabad lawmaker, asserted that all relevant documents had been submitted, and said the party will appeal against cancellation of the party's registration by Maharaastra Election Commission.
"This is simply shocking. We have submitted income tax returns for the past three years and all other relevant documents. We suspect there was political pressure," Jaleel said.
"Since the EC has now cancelled our registration, we will go in appeal before the election commission the moment we get a letter from them", said Imtiaz.
The decision means the AIMIM can not contest local body elections in Maharashtra, including panchayat and civic body polls.
Next year's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections are crucial to the party's plans to expand its base in Maharashtra, especially after it won two seats in the 2014 assembly elections.
Owaisi's AIMIM won 11 seats in the Nanded municipal polls in 2012 - first time the party contested elections outside Hyderabad. However, it made its biggest impression in Aurangabad last year after bagging 26 of the 54 seats it contested and emerging as the second largest party in the civic polls.