MIM may contest six seats in Tamil Nadu

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Hyderabad, April 5 (IANS) As part of its plans to have pan-India presence, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is likely to contest six seats in Tamil Nadu’s assembly elections, scheduled next month.

Party sources said MIM will field candidates in constituencies where Muslims and Dalits are in sizeable numbers. The party has identified such constituencies in Chennai, Vellore and Krishnagiri districts.

While the party is yet to officially announce the decision, sources told IANS that the party is keen to have its presence in Tamil Nadu, where the party unit is functioning for more than a year.

The Hyderabad-based party had also participated in the relief for Chennai flood victims.

MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will address a public meeting in Vaniyambadi, a town in Vellore on April 9 to spell out his party’s strategy for the May 16 elections.

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MIM, which made its debut in Maharashtra assembly by winning two seats in 2014 elections, is keen to make a beginning in Tamil Nadu’s electoral politics. “The party leadership is receiving requests from large number of party supporters that they field candidates from some constituencies,” sources said.

MIM contested six seats in Bihar but drew a blank. Party leaders said they were not disappointed over the outcome and want to continue the efforts to expand the organisation to various parts of the country.

The party leadership has already dropped enough hints that they will be contesting elections in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

They, however, admit that campaigning in Tamil Nadu will be a challenge for them due to the language.

Campaigning among Urdu or Hindi knowing voters in Maharashtra and Bihar was easy for Asaduddin Owaisi, a member of Parliament from Hyderabad.

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As majority of Muslims in Tamil Nadu speak Tamil, the MIM leadership may have to use interpreters to convey its message to the voters.

MIM has seven legislators in 120-member Telangana assembly. The party also has significant presence in local bodies in Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

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