Karnataka Assembly election 2018: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi today announced that his party will not contest the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls but will support the Janata Dal (Secular) of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda. Speaking to ANI, Owaisi said that his party workers will ensure that the JD(S) gets maximum number of seats and Kumaraswamy becomes the Chief Minister of the southern state.
Owaisi was reported to have said in January that he was considering to field a few candidates in Karnataka polls, especially in areas that have thick Muslim population. The party had also identified few constituencies in the northern part of the state from where it was considering to enter election fray, reports said.
Lambasting both the BJP and Congress, he said that the two national parties have failed completely in fulfiling the aspirations and expectations of the people of Karnataka. “That’s why we have decided to support the JD(S) in the assembly elections,” he said. He expressed hope that the people of Karnataka will show faith in the leadership of JD(S) and vote the party to power to bring a qualitative change.
Owaisi also said that it is in the interest of Karnataka as well as the nation that a non-Congress and a non-BJP government comes to the power in Karnataka and when the parliamentary elections are held. Assembly elections across the 224 assembly constituencies in Karnataka will be held in single phase on May 12.
Owaisi’s party has fielded candidates in many assembly elections in different states previously. The BJP and Congress have always accused the AIMIM of fielding candidates to favour each other by cutting the votes of Muslims.
According to 2011 Census, Muslims in Karnataka constitute 12.9% of the state’s total population. Owaisi’s decision to back JD(S) could be a game changer as Muslims are considered a traditional vote bank of the Congress party. The JD(S) had won 40 seats in 2013 assembly elections.