All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Monday announced its support to opposition parties’ joint candidate Yashwant Sinha in the election for the President of India.
AIMIM legislators will be voting for opposition candidate Sinha in the Presidential elections, announced party president Asaduddin Owaisi.
The Hyderabad MP tweeted that Yashwant Sinha earlier spoke to him over phone.
Sinha filed his nomination in the presence of leaders of different political parties in on Monday.
The presidential elections will take place on July 18 and the results will be declared on July 21.
Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had invited Asaduddin Owaisi for June 21 meeting to discuss the presidential elections.
The AIMIM chief had deputed party leader and Aurangabad MP Imtiaz Jaleel for the meeting.
The Hyderabad-headquartered party has two Lok Sabha members one each from Telangana and Maharashtra and 14 MLAs — seven in Telangana, five in Bihar and two in Maharashtra.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had ignored AIMIM for the June 15 meeting of opposition parties hosted by her to discuss the strategy for the Presidential elections.
Owaisi had said that even if his party was invited it would not have attended as the Congress party was invited.
Meanwhile, The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which earlier stayed away from the Opposition parties’ meeting held on June 15 and also criticised the manner in which presidential nominees were considered, declared its support to Opposition’s joint presidential nominee Yashwant Sinha on Monday.
The party had not declared its intentions for the polls until today. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee’s letter to 22 political parties inviting them for a meeting to discuss the Presidential elections upset party supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao or KCR’s plans of leading a third front of like-minded parties apart from the Congress and the BJP, an idea he has been floating since 2018. Neither KCR nor his party ministers attended the meeting.
Since the party is also trying to distance itself from the Congress, one of the reasons why the party stayed away from the meeting is said to be because the Congress attended them.
Announcing the decision to the media in New Delhi, TRS Working President and State IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao said the party has decided to back the nominee as the “TRS is opposed to the politics of BJP”, adding: “Leaders like Sharad Pawar and Mamta Banerjee called and spoke to us. To protect democracy in the country we will support Yashwant Sinha.’’
Rao and other TRS MPs accompanied Sinha as he filed his nomination papers.
Rao, however, ruled out the possibility of an alliance with any party.
“Other parties may be extending support to Sinha but we do not have anything to do with them,’’ Rao said.
The TRS had supported the NDA in the previous Presidential elections in 2017, but has fallen out with the BJP in recent months, with CM KCR accusing the party of discriminating against the state, indulging in hate politics, and failing to fulfil promises.
It also comes in the backdrop of the BJP deputing its full strength in Telangana ahead of the Assembly elections in 2023, riding on the Huzurabad bypoll victory in 2021 and earlier victory in the 2020 Dubbaka bypoll and the gains made in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Election the same year.
The CM is also upset over the Centre’s denial to procure paddy from the state, after the state had a bumper crop and the Centre did not procure it, leaving a glut of paddy unsold from the previous season. It took its protest to Delhi as well in April this year.
Reflective of the party’s stand, Rao said that the BJP was trying to hoodwink parties by seeking their support after nominating former Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu, who is from the Santhal Tribal community as its presidential nominee.
Calling the decision “tokenism”, he said: “If the BJP is so concerned about tribals, it should approve the Telangana Assembly’s resolution to increase quota to tribals in the state. It has been four years but we have not heard from the Centre.’’