The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will contest Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, party Chief Asaduddin Owaisi announced on Monday. The Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2.
"We will contest Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Some of our candidates won in Gujarat local body polls. I'll be going to Rajasthan today to review and speak with party members. Our party workers are also working hard in Uttar Pradesh," Owaisi said. "We had fought elections five years ago," he said, adding AIMIM's unit is working in Tamil Nadu. Earlier, there was speculation that Owaisi and AIMIM would ally with the DMK but the latter party hastily revoked an invite to Owaisi for reasons still unknown after which there has been no further talk of the two coming together.
Meanwhile, Owaisi appeared unfazed over Indian Secular Front (ISF) leader Abbas Siddiqui supporting the Left-Congress alliance in the West Bengal elections, but said he would speak in detail on the issue at an "appropriate time".
"A poet has said, ''Main akela hi chala tha jaanib- e-manzil, log aate gaye, karwan banta gaya (I started all alone towards the goal, but people kept joining and it began to turn into a caravan). This is the answer to your question. Secondly, I will reply to this at an appropriate time," he told reporters in Hyderabad.
Asked if he is disappointed or unhappy with the developments as he kept faith in Siddiqui, he said his work is going on expanding the party in states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and others. "Our work is on and we will move forward," news agency PTI quoted Owaisi as saying.
Siddiqui, a Muslim cleric who launched the ISF recently, created a flutter by meeting Owaisi ahead of the WB elections but is supporting the Left Front. The Left-Congress-ISF had held its first joint rally at Brigade parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday. Elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27 and be held in eight-phases.
Meanwhile, raising question against the effectiveness of Serum Institute's Covishield Coronavirus vaccine, Owaisi said it is not "as effective" for people aged 64 and above. "As per the German Government, Covishield is not as effective for people aged 64 and above. The vaccine is for people aged between 18 and 64. Can the central government clarify the confusion? Is this a coincidence that the Prime Minister took Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine today? However, I urge all to get vaccinated," Owaisi told ANI.
(With agency inputs)