Owaisi's AIMIM lends support to JD(S) in Karnataka assembly elections

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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. "Owaisi has said that JD (S) should come to power because BJP and Congress have not helped the people", the former Karnataka chief minister said.

Meanwhile, JD (S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy told reporters in Mysuru that Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao may have spoken to Mr. Owaisi.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. KCR met JDS supremo Deve Gowda to seek his support for launching an "alternative movement" to bring qualitative change in the country, saying both Congress and BJP had failed to deliver.

According to Narayana, more than the likely benefits for the JD (S), Owaisi's support might hurt the Congress if some votes shift.

"We will not contest the upcoming Karnataka elections, AIMIM will support the JD (S)".

He further said: "We feel that the two national parties have failed to live up to the hopes and aspirations of people of Karnataka and that is why we have made a decision to support the JD (S) completely". JD (S) leader P G R Sindhia had confirmed that his party was in talks with Asaduddin Owaisi for a formal tie-up ahead of the polls. Initially Owaisi was keen that MIM should contest the elections in Karnataka, specially in Hyderabad-Karnataka region which has significant Muslim population and the party has a base there.

Reacting to the criticism that the AIMIM's presence in the elections "favoured" the BJP as it divided the minority votes among AIMIM and the Congress, Owasi dismissed the charges.

Karnataka, now led by Siddaramaiah of the Congress, is going to the polls from May 12 to May 15.

Karnataka polls are scheduled to be held on May 12, with the counting on May 15.

Owaisi's announcement comes in the wake of the recent appeal by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao to vote for the JD (S) which is now led by its president and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. 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.