Asaduddin Owasi wins the Hyderabad seat, extending history

Asaduddin Owasi wins the Hyderabad seat, extending history
The sitting candidate Asaduddin Owasi won the Hyderabad lok sabha seat with a margin of 2.8 lakh votes.

This All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) candidate secured a safe win, with no sweat as expected by many.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Dr Bhagvanth Rao and finished as a runner up just like last year.

However, BJP redeemed itself in the twin city as its G Kishan Reddy won over Talasani Sai Kiran Yadav of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) by a margin of 62,000 votes.

An anti-Modi stance

The sitting MP Owasi, a well-known for his anti-Modi statements has managed to keep its legacy.

Owasi invited ire in 2016 after he locked horns with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s Mohan Bhagwat. “I would never say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” said Owasi after Bhagawat said every Indian should chant it.

Owasi had stood his ground even when Modi wave was at its strongest in 2014, though his BJP counterpart Dr Bahgavanth Rao came very close with over 3 lakh votes, while Owasi finished with around five lakh votes.

Nizam’ legacy

Historically, Owasis and their city-based political party, have maintained much larger margins over their runner-ups, even when TDP and Congress were at their strongest.

In fact, his father has won the same seat seven times, keeping the Charminar constituency with a majority Muslim population within the Owasi family, which heads All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

AIMIM was founded in 1927 under the auspices of Nawab Osman Ali Khan to be a pro-Nizam party during the times when the power of princely states was dwindling in a British-ruled India. But they came to take over the city only in 1984, after breaking Congress’ stronghold in the city and the state.

Twin dilemma

Secunderabad’s mandate unlike Hyderabad cannot be predicted as easily. In fact, the city is notorious for choosing a different party each year. Things got even murkier after the septuagenarian Bandaru Dattatreya was denied a ticket from BJP to contest the election. It went to G Kishan Reddy who is tasked with overcoming Anjan Yadav from Congress and Talasani Sai Kiran Yadav from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS); to retain the party in the seat.

Hyderabad and Secunderabad voters did not have it easy this time around. They had to choose between seven candidates in Hyderabad and five in Secunderabad. In 2019, over 30 candidates contested from Secunderabad!! In Hyderabad too, voters had 14 candidates to choose from.

They came from unknown parties like Majlis Bachao Tahreek, Pyramid Party of India, Indian Christian Secular Party and All India Azaad Congress Party; along with a clutch of independents.

With many candidates came fewer voters. This time around the city recorded a dismal voter percentage at 40%.