Sena banks on MIM, splitting 80,000 Muslim votes

Written by | April 4, 2015 | 0
Mumbai: With the Shiv Sena and the Congress pulling out all the stops for the April 11 Bandra East constituency by-polls, the MIM has emerged as a deciding factor.

Insiders from both parties said they keep a close watch on MIM, which is hitting the ground hard and wooing Muslim votes.

The by-polls is being held following the death of Sena’s MLA Prakash, alias Bala Sawant and the party has given the ticket to Trupti Sawant, widow of Bala Sawant.

The MIM’s Rahbar Khan is pitted against the Congress’s Narayan Rane and the Sena’s Trupti Sawant.

The Sena is attempting to hold on to this prestigious seat as its chief, Uddhav Thackeray, have their home here.

But many predict that the AIMIM holds the key here.

“It all depends on the MIM,” said a Sena leader. “If they get less than 10,000 votes, Rane stands a chance. Rane has already made inroads into the constituency and even reached out to disgruntled elements in the Sena. If the
MIM manages to polarize voters, then the Sena will be home.”

The constituency has about 80,000 Muslim voters, about 50,000 Dalit voters, and a small but important Christian population and the Sena wants the MIM to take hold of as many votes of the community as possible.

The NCP and Congress leaders are accusing the MIM of helping the Shiv Sena by splitting Muslim votes.

“The MIM candidate will only divide the Muslim votes and it will help the Sena candidate”, former minister Arif Naseem Khan said.

The MIM, however, denied the claims. “There are many seats where we did not contest and still the Congress lost,” said Waris Pathan, MIM’s MLA from Byculla.

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