Asaduddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad MP, has left no stone unturned in his attempts to make a mark in the Uttar Pradesh elections this time. Political analysts wonder how successful Mr Owaisi will be in what they term his “Azamgarh formula”.
Over the years, the Samajwadi Party managed to get electoral success in western UP's Azamgarh with its M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) formula. Taking a cue, Mr Owaisi has tried to reach out to the Muslims and Dalits together in these polls. He has often mentioned Dalit icon BR Ambedkar in his speeches. There is also speculation that AIMIM may eat into Samajwadi Party's votes.
“If a Dalit from Mubarakpur (a town in Azamgarh district) calls me to protect and uphold Ambedkar's Constitution, I will stand with the Dalit family to fight. When Hyderabad elected me for the fourth time in 2019 and I went to take oath as a Member of Parliament, BJP lawmakers started shouting. I took an oath in the name of God and the Constitution, and then I shouted back Jai Bhim. This silenced the BJP lawmakers. Later, BJP leaders asked me how I managed to think about all this. I said, ‘Baba Ambedkar is not in my mind, he is in my heart',” Mr Owaisi said at a rally.
His party, AIMIM, has fielded nearly 100 candidates in the UP election. With his Muslim-Dalit formula in Mubarakpur, Mr Owaisi aims to shake the support base of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
In his rallies in the Purvanchal region, Mr Owaisi, who managed to attract a sizable crowd, targeted the BJP and also hit out at the Samajwadi Party and BSP.