Chennai: All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM)’s Asaduddin Owaisi, who is seeking a nationwide presence for his party, has found an electoral ally in Tamil Nadu – the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founded by TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of V K Sasikala.
The two parties on Monday reached a poll pact as per which the AIMIM would contest in three Assembly constituencies in the April 6 general elections. Owaisi had earlier unsuccessfully reached out to the DMK expecting to open its account in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Over a month ago, the DMK, after inviting him for a minorities’ conference, developed cold feet and withdrew the invite as its Muslim allies IUML and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi had objected to it.
Muslim parties in Tamil Nadu feel that since the number of Urdu speaking Muslims is less in the State, the AIMIM may not have significant influence over the community as such. Besides, they fear that allowing a political space to Owaisi may eventually shrink their own strengths.
However, Owaisi, who has been successful in extending his political reach beyond Hyderabad to Bihar and other States, is keen on making a mark in Tamil Nadu, just as he has eyed West Bengal in a larger way.
As per the pact signed by Dhinakaran and AIMIM state president T S Vakeel Al Ahmed and Tamil Nadu in-charge Mohammed Rahmatullah Tayyab, the party will field candidates in Vanniyambadi, Krishnagiri and Sankarapuram.
Usually Muslim parties in Tamil Nadu prefer to enter the fray in Vanniyambadi in north Tamil Nadu, constituencies in Ramanathapuram district in south Tamil Nadu and Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni in Chennai.
Dhinakaran, who has managed to project a “secular” and “casteless” image, despite being representative of the dominant Mukkulathor community, had tied up with the SDPI in the last Parliamentary elections.