The leader of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) Akbaruddin Owaisi today announced that his party was willing to expand its base outside Andhra Pradesh and it has decided to contest elections in other states too. Owaisi, 43, a member of the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, made the announcement while addressing a public meeting in Hyderabad.
He told his supporters that the party has decided to contest assembly elections in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and other states.
It is to be noted that Owaisi's party has seven members in the Andhra Pradesh assembly and one in Madhya Pradesh and the MIM has also won some seats in local body elections in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Akbaruddin was arrested in February this year in connection with a hate speech case and he was released after spending 40 days in Adilabad jail. The young leader delivered his first speech after coming out of jail at Khilwat Grounds in the old city of Hyderabad in front of thousands of people.
The MIM had announced the public meeting to mark the fifth death anniversary of former MIM Chief Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.
Talking about his incarceration, Akbaruddin said that it was ploy by his rivals to end his political career but they failed in their plan and he has emerged stronger from the whole controversy. Akbaruddin added that the jail term has only made him more popular among the people of the state. "The MIM is fighting for Muslims, other minorities and those sections of society which are deprived of their constitutional rights," he said.
On his part, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed Congress for banning him from visiting Maharashtra. He added that Akbaruddin will now visit various states and campaign for the party.
"When Modi can visit Hyderabad, why can't we go to other states. No, we can't. We will not. Say no to Modi, no to BJP," he said.