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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) may vote for the United Progressive Alliance’s candidate Meira Kumar in July 17 presidential polls, party sources said on Saturday.

Party president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and nine legislators of the party in Telangana and Maharashtra may cast their votes for the Congress leader.

AIMIM, a former constituent of UPA, is believed to have taken a decision after weighing all pros and cons.

The party has seven members in Telangana Assembly and two in Maharashtra Assembly. Meira Kumar had written a letter to AIMIM, seeking its support.

AIMIM’s move is significant, considering the bitter relations with the Congress ever since snapping of ties in 2012. The party had been under attack from Congress leaders for contesting elections in various states as they felt that this was leading to split of secular votes.

AIMIM’s move is also seen as an affront to Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has announced its support to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind. The party is an ally of TRS.

Owaisi’s support to NDA candidate was ruled out as the BJP which heads the alliance remains his number one political rival. He had been slamming the candidature of Kovind while citing his alleged statement that “Muslims and Christians are alien to this nation”‘

However, the party was not likely to support the UPA candidate either. It was believed that it will stay away from polling.

In the previous presidential elections, AIMIM had voted for UPA candidate Pranab Mukerjee.

First Published | 15 July 2017 11:11 PM
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