Muslim outfit working towards common platform for UP polls

Lucknow :  Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and other Muslim-based political parties have started working towards an alliance of Muslim parties including Peace Party (PP), Quami Ekta Dal (QED), Rashtriya Ulema Council (RUC) and their like in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the 2017 assembly elections. The idea of a common front comprising Muslim leaders and their outfits started to take shape after a recent meeting between Mr Owaisi and Peace Party chief Mohammed Ayub where the two discussed the dynamics of such a common front with the support of over half a dozen other smaller outfits with limited base within the Muslim community. Dr Ayub has also given a prominent advertisement in a local Hindi daily in the state capital today appealing to all the Muslim political outfits to be united to fight against the communal forces in the UP polls.

The advertisement further claimed that these secular parties were united in Bihar and thus the communal forces licked the dust there but could not do so in Assam and hence the communal forces came to power there. On the other hand AIMIM UP convenor Shauqat Ali said here that his party was open to the idea of forming a front and senior leaders of various political organisations are in touch on the issue. In Lucknow, 10 Muslim political parties held parleys yesterday to work to form a common platform. Qaumi Ekta Dal president Afzal Ansari has hinted towards joining hands with Congress to form a front. Mr Ansari, elder brother of mafia don turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, gave enough indication that the party might go with Congress in the assembly polls at Varanasi yesterday. Muslims comprising around 18 per cent of the total population in the state are deciding factor in 38 districts where they have a sizeable population. Talking about efforts underway to form an alliance, the Peace Party chief said, "Muslim political parties, which took part in yesterday's meeting have given their consent for formation of a front and efforts were underway to rope in others as well." He said the AIMIM was not present at the meeting but was hopeful it will attend the second round slated to be held soon.

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