Telangana Elections: Tight Contest in Two Seats Reveals Cracks in Wall of AIMIM Fortress

Headline: AIMIM Faces Close Contests and Intra-Party Demands Amidst Cracks Exposed in 2023 Assembly Elections

The 2023 assembly elections have not only resulted in a significant setback for the powerful BRS but have also brought to light internal challenges for another influential party — AIMIM. The Hyderabad-based party contested nine seats, winning seven, with particularly intense battles in Nampally and Yakutpura.

In Nampally, AIMIM’s Md Majid Khan narrowly defeated INC candidate Md Feroz Khan by a margin of 2,037 votes, while in Yakutpura, AIMIM’s Jaffar Hussain secured victory with only an 878-vote lead over Majlis Bachao Tehreek’s (MBT) Amjed Ullah Khan. Majid received 62,185 votes, beating Feroz’s 60,148 votes, and Jaffar secured 46,153 votes against Amjed Ullah’s 45,275 votes. Winning by such narrow margins indicates that AIMIM is facing formidable competition on its home ground.

Feroz Khan’s close call has led some within the winning Congress unit to advocate for his inclusion in the state’s new cabinet. Since no Muslim candidate from the Congress secured a victory, leaders are urging Feroz’s inclusion to represent the minority community. In the 2018 assembly elections, Feroz contested against Jaffar Hussain and lost by 6,675 votes.

MBT, an offshoot of AIMIM, is represented by Amjed Ullah Khan, who lost in Yakutpura by 878 votes. Amjed is the spokesperson of MBT and the son of Amanullah Khan, the founder of MBT. Amanullah formed MBT after disagreements with AIMIM’s then-president Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi over autonomy issues. Amjed has consistently voiced his concerns against AIMIM and accused the party of various unfair practices, including alleged vote-buying and interference in the distribution of voter slips.

Amjed has been outspoken throughout the year, highlighting perceived failures of the BRS government concerning Muslims, such as the Alair encounter, mosque demolitions during the construction of the new Secretariat, and the destruction of Wakf properties in Telangana. The close contests and internal demands indicate a challenging landscape for AIMIM in the aftermath of the 2023 elections.