MIM withdraws support to UPA, Congress in Andhra Pradesh
In a significant development which could alter the political equations in Andhra Pradesh, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) Monday withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi and the Congress government in the state.
MIM chief and its lone MP Asaduddin Owaisi announced the decision of the party's executive and declared that his party would now go after the state government for its "communal" and "anti-people" policies.
Addressing a news conference, Owaisi said his party was compelled to take the decision due to what he said was the communal behaviour of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh.
In a letter faxed to President Pranab Mukherjee, the MIM president informed him of his party's decision to sever ties with the Congress and withdraw support to the UPA government. He sought an appointment with the president to personally explain the circumstances which compelled the MIM to take the decision.
The Hyderabad MP said his party was ready for the political consequences of the decision. Owaisi said his party legislators would soon meet Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to inform him of the decision to withdraw support to the Congress government.
Giving a detailed account of communal riots in the state and Hyderabad since 2010, he alleged that the Congress government not only turned a blind eye to MIM's demands but pandered to the Sangh Parivar.
The MIM's decision came after the government allegedly allowed construction of a canopy over a temple abutting the historic Charminar in alleged violation of court orders to maintain status quo.
Owaisi criticised the chief minister for ignoring the high court order to maintain status quo.
"Because of this decision of the Congress government, because of its communal behaviour, dilly dallying, pandering and supporting Sangh Parivar activists for ensuring that the BJP gets strengthened in Hyderabad and surrounding areas, we are compelled to withdraw support."
The MIM has seven members in the 295-member assembly and its support is crucial for the survival of the Congress government, which has a narrow majority.
The Muslim party, which had bailed out the government during the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion, was non-committal on whether it would support a no-confidence motion if moved by the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
"Our main priority is now to ensure that this government falls. We will go to every nook and corner of the state to expose the government and tell people how it is pursuing anti-people policies and how it is pleasing and pandering communal forces like the BJP and Sangh Parivar," said Owaisi while making it clear that there will be no going back on the decision.