UPA member MIM in quandary over supporting government

July 8th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 8 (IANS) The lone Lok Sabha member of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), one of the constituents of ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to decide which way he would vote in parliament when the government faces a trial of strength. As the Left parties withdrew support to the government over the India-US nuclear deal, the Muslim political party began considering its options.

“We have not yet taken a decision. There is still plenty of time,” Hyderabad parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi told IANS.

He said the issue would be discussed with party president, who would take a final decision. Asaduddin Owaisi’s father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi is the president of MIM, which has been winning the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for over two decades.

Party sources said the party might abstain to avoid any criticism for either voting for or against the government.

The MIM, which criticised the nuclear deal in the past and cautioned the government against any strategic alliance with the US, may not like to be seen supporting the deal, especially since some parties have been projecting it as ‘anti-Muslim’.

The young MP had on several occasions criticised the government for toeing the US line on the issue of Iran and for voting against Tehran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

MIM had also staged protests against US President George Bush’s visit to India last March and blamed Bush for the “massacres of Muslims” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, it would also be difficult for the MIM to vote alongside the Left parties, its arch rivals in Hyderabad. Both CPI and CPI-M have been trying to challenge MIM’s monopoly in the Andhra Pradesh capital.

If the party votes against the UPA, it could also been seen in its constituency as causing the downfall of a ’secular’ government and helping ‘communal’ forces to make a comeback.

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