Hyderabad: Manifestos are a vital part of elections in India. In each election, be it for Parliament, a state Assembly, or a municipal corporation, contesting political parties publish their manifestos to tell voters what they will do if they are voted to power.
Nonetheless, there is one political party that never publishes a manifesto in any election it competes in, in Hyderabad, Telangana, or some other state.
Not like other parties, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) doesn’t think it’s necessary to give manifestos. It never released the document in any of the elections it has competed in since its revival in 1958.
“We don’t release a manifesto. We seek votes on the basis of our performance,” said party chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who is directing the ongoing campaign for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.
A vital force in Hyderabad politics, MIM has been historically assuming the role of kingmaker or sharing power with others in the municipal body. The party goes by its motto ‘Our work is our identity’.
The party says to be different from others. Owaisi, who is also the member of Lok Sabha from Hyderabad, said: “Unlike other parties which become active only during elections, our party works round the year. The elected representatives of the party are always accessible and available to people.”
The MP, the party’s seven members in Telangana Assembly, two members in Legislative Council and corporators will be accessible to people at party headquarters ‘Darussalam’ daily aside from Fridays. Individuals straightforwardly approach them with their issues including the issues related to civic amenities, a MIM leader pointed out.
The party heads state their corporators like the MPs and state legislators work tirelessly to tackle the issues of individuals relating to drinking water, sewerage system, streets and streetlamps. During the election campaign, the party points out the works done and guarantees individuals to keep on working for solving their issues.
At the election meetings, Asaduddin Owaisi, his bother and MIM head in Telangana Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi and different leaders lay emphasis on solidarity to defeat communal forces.
In the December 1 GHMC polls, MIM has fielded candidates in 51 out of 150 divisions. In the past elections held in 2016, the party had gained 44 seats however landslide majority for ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which had won 99 divisions, denied it of the kingmaker’s role.
This time with the BJP hoping to make colossal huge inroads in the TRS vote bank, MIM is planning to assume a key role in deciding who rules GHMC.
In the first election for GHMC in 2009, MIM had obtained 43 seats and shared the power with the Congress, which had obtained 52 seats.
The GHMC was formed in 2007 by joining 12 regions and 12 gram panchayats encompassing the city with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH).
MIM was established in 1927 to advance the socio-economic and educational improvement of Muslims. Following Hyderabad State’s accession to the Indian Union in 1948, the organisation was banned.
Nonetheless, in the year 1958, it was brought back with the new constitution by Maulana Abdul Wahid Owaisi, grandfather of Asaduddin Owaisi. A notable lawyer back then, Abdul Wahid Owaisi changed it into a political party to battle for the right of the minorities as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
The AIMIM made its electoral introduction in 1959, winning two municipal by-elections in Hyderabad. In 1960, it arose as the main opposition in Hyderabad.
Abdul Wahid Owaisi’s son Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was amongst the party heads elected to MCH.
Seen by opponents as a communal party, it went through image makeover in the 1980s when Salahuddin Owaisi made three Hindu corporators of the party Mayors of Hyderabad. Those were the days when Hyderabad used to observe frequent communal tensions.