The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) and its leader MK Stalin have been on a high with the possibility of support from the state’s Muslim vote bank in the upcoming assembly polls. The DMK’s alliance with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML)and Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam(MMK), the two major Muslim political parties, has made them optimistic.
But the announcement by Asaddudin Owaisi that his party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AiMIM) will contest elections on 25 seats may turn out to be a concern for the DMK.
The AIMIM had contested elections to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 2016 and had garnered 10,000 votes from the Vanniyambadi constituency.
IUML national president Khader Mohideen told IANS: “Owaisi will not make much of a difference. His brand of divisive politics will not work in either Tamil Nadu or Kerala.”
Political observers believe Owaisi and his brand of politics works among the Urdu-speaking Muslims of Tamil Nadu who are more in number in Northern Tamil Nadu.
MMK leader Jawaharullah, while speaking to IANS, said: “I don’t think that Owaisi and his brand of politics have any role to play in Tamil Nadu. He may get some votes which could split the Muslim votes thus helping the AIADMK-BJP combine and we are educating Muslims about this menace.”
However, a section of the DMK leadership feels that the AIMIM may eat into the Muslim votes of the alliance.
Said DMK General secretary Duraimurugan, “Owaisi and his politics will not be a major threat to the secular political alliance of DMK. The Muslim politics of Tamil Nadu is different and that politics is supporting us and we don’t feel any heat over the arrival of Asadudin Owaisi and his party in Tamil Nadu.”
Added Elias Syed Mohammed Khan, state office-bearer of the AIMIM: “The DMK is terrified at our entry. We are for protecting the interests of the community and to speak on behalf of the community. We don’t have any other interests and in this election, we will make a major difference.”
With elections a month away, political parties have started working on the permutations and combinations that would garner votes.