The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Monday announced that it will not contest the Assembly elections in Karnataka and will instead support the JD(S)-BSP alliance. Announcing the move, party chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he will also campaign for the JD(S) ahead of the May 12 polls. “We will not contest the upcoming Karnataka elections, AIMIM will support the JD(S). I will address public meetings in support of the JD(S) if there is need,”Owaisi said.”We feel both national parties have totally failed. We want non-Congress and non-BJP govt in Karnataka for a qualitative development,” he said. Karnataka has a sizeable Muslim population and the ruling Congress was attempting to consolidate non-BJP votes. Owaisi denied the charges that split in Muslim votes would benefit the BJP.”This allegation on us of cutting votes to benefit the BJP is baseless. We did not contest in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir. Did not contest Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra. What happened to Congress there?” Owaisi asked. Last month, the party had indicated that it would field candidates in the May 12 Assembly polls in Karnataka.The state has 224 constituencies which will go to polls on May 12. The counting will take place on May 15. The campaigning for the Assembly polls is in full swing with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and BJP president Amit Shah making multiple trips to the state. Karnataka is witnessing a three-corner contest among the Congress, BJP and the H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular). The BSP and the JD(S) have entered into an alliance to contest the Karnataka Assembly polls together. The BSP will be contesting from 8 reserved and 12 general Assembly constituencies spread across 14 districts of the state.The JD(S) will fight for the remaining 204 seats, aiming to form the government under the leadership of JD(S) state chief H D Kumaraswamy, the two parties announced in February. The state has over 22% Scheduled Caste votes.
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