Mumbai: As both the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are busy soliciting the support of Independent MLA’s and smaller parties in the high-stakes Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra on June 10, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday claimed no one from the ruling MVA have contacted them as yet.
The MIM chief while speaking to newspersons in Nanded, further said that if the ruling dispensation of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress did indeed wish to seek the AIMIM’s support, then the MVA ought to make its communication clear and in the open.
During a meeting with party functionaries, Owaisi and other AIMIM leaders did not come up with any decision to support either the MVA or the BJP.
Owaisi further remarked, “No one from the MVA has contacted us or our MLAs in Maharashtra. If they want our support and wish to defeat the BJP, they should talk directly with us.”
The ruling Sena has often in the recent past accused the AIMIM of acting as the BJP’s ‘B-team’. Earlier, in March this year, the ruling Shiv Sena had categorically rejected the AIMIM’s offer to be part of the ruling MVA coalition in order to form a broad anti-BJP front in the State. The Sena had further alleged that the AIMIM’s offer was part of a BJP ploy to discredit the Sena’s ‘Hindutva’ credentials.
Of the 57 RS seats across India going to polls on June 10, six are from Maharashtra. Going by the respective numerical strength of the major parties in the State, the BJP, which is numerically the single-largest party (with 106 seats) is set to get two seats with the quota of 42 votes deciding the winner for each seat, while the three MVA coalition parties, the Shiv Sena (56 seats), NCP (53 seats) and the Congress party (44 seats seats) are set to get one seat each.
However, the Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates while the opposition BJP has propped up three candidates, paving the way for a fierce contest on the sixth RS seat. Both the BJP and the Sena need surplus votes to ensure their candidates stand a chance to win in the polls.
Of the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the AIMIM has two MLAs. Given that the State will witness a straight fight for the RS polls after more than two decades, both the ruling coalition and the opposition BJP are attempting to woo Independent MLA’s as well as the smaller parties.