Hyderabad: All eyes are on the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency in the State capital in the upcoming elections. The reason, the sitting MP and AIMIM party chief Asaduddin Owaisi will be contesting from the seat for the fourth consecutive term and hoping to have a cake walk in the election. The BJP has been making repeated attempts since 1991 to wrest the seat from Majlis, but did not succeed so far.
Senior Owaisi first contested from Hyderabad seat in the 2004 elections. Later, he retained it in 2009 and 2014 general elections. Though the seat has become a pocket borough of the MIM since the last 35 years, it used to be stronghold of Congress till 1984 elections. In the 1971 elections, the Congress leader Melkote contested from the seat as Telangana Praja Samithi candidate at the height of separate Telangana State agitation and won defeating the Congress candidate.
The winning streak of the Congress began from the very first elections held in the year 1951. The then Congress leader Ahmed Mohiuddin had won from the seat by defeating Communist leader and PDF candidate Makdhoom Mohiuddin. First general elections were held in the constituency from October 1951 to February 1952. Mohiuddin became a Union minister in first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. Later, he won from Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat as well. The Congress retained the seat for six terms since the first elections.
Hyderabad parliamentary constituency comprises Malakpet, Karwan, Goshamahal, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura and Bahadurpura Assembly segments. The Charminar, Yakutpura, Bahadurpura and Chandrayangutta segments are completely dominated by Muslims while Malakpet and Karwan too have a sizeable number of voters for the community. Only Goshamahal Assembly constituency has been dominated by Hindus and it was this lone Assembly seat that MIM lost in 2009 and it did not field any candidate in 2014.
It was in 1984 Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi scored a victory in Hyderabad parliamentary seat by trouncing TDP-BJP alliance candidate K Prabhakar Reddy by a narrow margin of 3,481 votes in a fiercely-fought election. Salahuddin Owaisi retained the seat in keenly-fought elections in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999.
In the year 1984, then MIM leader Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi won from Hyderabad seat for the first time as an Independent candidate by defeating TDP’s K. Prabhakar Reddy. The Congress party secured third place in the election. Later, Salahuddin Owaisi never looked back and won from the seat as an MIM candidate for six consecutive terms till 2004. After his retirement from active politics, his son and the present MIM party president Asaduddin Owaisi took over the mantle from his father and won from the seat for the first time in the 2004 elections.
After Salahuddin Owaisi opted out of the electoral contest, his son Asaduddin Owaisi contested and won Hyderabad parliamentary seat in 2004 elections by defeating BJP rival by a majority of one lakh votes. In 2009 elections, Asaduddin Owaisi retained the seat, by inflicting a crushing defeat on TDP rival by a majority of 1.14 lakh votes. Incidentally, in 1996 elections, Salahuddin trounced BJP’s top State leader M Venkaiah Naidu by a majority of 73,273 votes. BJP candidate Baddam Bal Reddy set a record by losing out three times to Salahuddin in 1991, 1998 and 1999.
Sultan’s successive victories in the constituency reflected the cohesion and consolidation of minorities by the AIMIM leadership. In 1984, when Sultan Salahuddin wrested the Hyderabad seat, there were hardly 39 per cent minorities in the constituency. Owaisi’s votes soared from just around 2.22 lakh in 1984 to 4.86 lakh in 1998 whereas the rivals’ votes grew from 2.19 lakh in 1984 to 4.15 lakh in 1998.
During 1984-2004 elections, Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency consisted of seven Assembly segments —Tandur, Vikarabad and Chevella in Rangareddy district and Karwan, Charminar, Chandrayangutta and Yakutpura in Hyderabad district. One key reason for Majlis winning the Hyderabad parliamentary seat successively has been its presence in the four Assembly segments out of seven that made up this constituency from 1984 till 2004. Majlis has been winning three to four Assembly seats in Hyderabad parliamentary constituency. The MIM retained six of the seven Assembly constituencies it had contested (in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency limits) in December 2018. It won Malakpet (majority – 23,512), Kawrawan (Majority-50,602), Charminar (Majority-32,586) Chandrayangutta ( Majority- 80,264), Yakutpura (majority-46978) and Bahadurpur (Majority – 82,518). BJP retained Goshamahal Assembly constituency). (NSS)