AAP and AIMIM emerge as third largest political force in civic polls in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, Jul 31 (PTI) In the recent local elections held in Madhya Pradesh, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won another 40 corporation seats while All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) won seven corporation seats. By registering the victory, he registered his strong presence in the state.

With this, these two parties have also become the third force in the state. Until now, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) were known as the third force in the state.

However, so far the politics of the ruling BJP and the main opposition party, the Congress, have been in the state and these two parties have also been dominant in the local elections.

In this performance of Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, the Madhya Pradesh Congress has termed the two parties as BJP’s ‘B-team’.

Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has claimed 6.3% vote share in its first civic body elections in the state.

The BJP and the Congress, however, seem to be oblivious to the growing number of third force candidates in the state.

AAP state president Pankaj Singh told PTI, “We got 6.3 percent votes in the urban body elections. Our party candidate won in Singrauli and we came third in Gwalior and Rewa in the mayoral elections held for 14 municipal corporations in the state.We have secured about 46,000 votes in Gwalior.

He said that for the posts of city councilors, our party had fielded about 1,500 candidates, of which 40 won, while 135 to 140 came second.

Singh claimed that AAP-backed candidates won 10 posts of Zilla Panchayat members, 23 Janpad members, 103 sarpanches and 250 panchas in the panchayat elections held on a non-party basis.

He said the party will give a strong third choice to Madhya Pradesh voters in the 2023 assembly elections as people are angry with both the BJP and the Congress.

“Our party chief (Kejriwal) has already asked us to be ready to contest the 230 assembly seats,” the AAP leader said. We are in the process of strengthening our organization from the stand and preparing to fight for pro-people issues.

“AAP contested all 29 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections but got two percent votes, while in the 2018 assembly elections, the party got only one percent votes .But this time we have performed brilliantly in the municipal elections and our party’s vote share has increased to six percent.

At the same time, AIMIM Madhya Pradesh in-charge Syed Minhajuddin said, “Our party fielded 51 candidates in the recently held local elections in the state, out of which two are for mayor posts (in Khandwa and Burhanpur) and the rest 49. It was for councillors.

He said that although the voter turnout figures are not available, seven AIMIM candidates have become councillors.

Minhajuddin said the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM has not yet decided to contest the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

“It depends on our party chief (Owaisi) and the organisation. But I personally think the party can contest the assembly elections based on its good performance in the municipal elections.

Asked about his party’s poor performance in the local elections, BSP state president Ramakant Pippal said the party’s strong base lies in the villages and its performance in the civic polls urban doesn’t matter much.

“However, more than five dozen candidates from our party have won the urban civic polls and the numbers are still being collected,” he said.

Pippal, however, made it clear that the 2023 Assembly elections would be contested by the BSP on all seats.

SP state president RS Patel said his party could not participate in the civic polls with full dedication and enthusiasm as it did not have an organizational structure.

“Only 5-6 candidates (of the SP) have won the elections because I had recently taken over. However, we have started preparations for the assembly elections with full sincerity and will fight with all our might.

Asked about the new Third Front option for voters in Madhya Pradesh, state Congress media cell president KK Mishra said, “AAP and AIMIM are the ‘B team’ of ruling BJP.But this will not affect our party’s prospects.

At the same time, BJP state secretary Rajnish Agarwal said that whenever the third force is strong in Madhya Pradesh, it sinks the Congress votes.

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