In a historic turn of events, AIMIM, notorious for its divisive religious strategies, faced a stern rebuke from the Muslims of Hyderabad Old City through their votes. Despite AIMIM reclaiming seven MLA seats, a growing realisation among the Muslim populace about the party’s neglect of their areas for development has led to a burgeoning opposition.
To gain insight into these dynamics, let’s delve into the results of the assembly elections.
In the 2014 Telangana Assembly Elections, AIMIM clinched victory in the Nampally assembly segment with a significant margin of 17,296 votes, securing 47.5 per cent of the votes. However, in the subsequent election in 2018, AIMIM’s share of votes dropped to 41.99 per cent, and the winning margin was reduced to 9,675 votes. In the recent 2023 assembly election, despite an extensive campaign led by Asaduddin Owaisi and the support of the entire state machinery, AIMIM secured a victory, but with a narrow margin of only 2,037 votes.
Similar patterns emerged in the Yakatpura constituency, where AIMIM’s victory margin diminished drastically. In the 2023 assembly election, AIMIM secured a majority of just 878 votes, a significant decline from the earlier victory margin of around 46,978 votes.
The story repeated itself in the Bahadurpura constituency, witnessing a dip of around 10,000 votes in AIMIM’s majority. Additionally, in the Charminar constituency, there is a notable fall of 10,000 votes from the previous election’s victory margin.
Moving beyond these old city constituencies, AIMIM faced challenges in the Jubilee Hills constituency, failing to secure a deposit. The party garnered only 4.28 per cent of the votes (7,848), a considerable drop from the earlier share of 25.19 per cent votes (41,656).
The broader context Emerged in 2023 assembly elections, AIMIM managed to secure only 2.22% of the overall votes, a noticeable decline compared to the 2.7% votes secured in the 2018 assembly elections.
Asaduddin Owaisi, who openly supported K. Chandrashekar Rao state-wide and urged Muslims to vote for him with the statement “Mamu ko vote deke jitana hai” witnessed a setback in the elections. The outcome revealed a significant shift in voting patterns, particularly among Muslims outside the Hyderabad area, who predominantly supported the Congress party.
The election results underscore a significant and noteworthy trend of diminishing support for AIMIM within the Muslim community, extending beyond their traditionally dominant Hyderabad Old City area to a decline in support state-wide indicating a shift in the political landscape and voter sentiments in various constituencies.
Having said that, it is noteworthy that parties in power, particularly in recent times (BRS and Congress), have been extending direct and indirect support to AIMIM, often for religious appeasement, irrespective of public sentiments. A clear instance of this can be observed in the appointment of the Pro Term speaker for the Telangana assembly, where Akbaruddin Owaisi was appointed based on the advice of the state government.
The decline of Owaisi’s control can be attributed to Muslims who are distancing themselves from Islamic-centric politics, particularly by younger generations and freethinkers, as well as ex-Muslims who are silent supporters of changing Bharat. There is also talk among Islamic religious leaders that their Muslim community should support Congress, which has a national presence, rather than Owaisi.
The dynasty politics of Owaisi and his wealth creation in the last 2 decades is unpresented, completely mismatching through their affidavits submitted to Election Commission and his real luxury life.
As the winds of change blow through Hyderabad’s political landscape, the coming Parliament elections present a crucial juncture for the old city’s residents to redefine their political priorities. These incident highlights the complex interplay of power politics, religious considerations, and public representation, emphasizing the need for a nuanced and inclusive approach in governance that considers the sentiments of all sections of society.