Even as major political parties were still busy in behind the scene efforts to find suitable partners and stitch seat sharing arrangements, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen on Monday released first list of seven candidates for the assembly elections.
MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi dropped two sitting MLAs giving opportunity to two new faces.
Kausar Mohiuddin will be MIM candidate from Karwan constituency in place of Afsar Khan, who has been dropped on the ground of ill health.
Former deputy Mayor of Hyderabad Meraj Hussain is entering the fray from Nampally constituency in place of Virasat Rasool Khan.
Other five, who have been re-nominated from their respective constituencies include Akbaruddin Owaisi (Chandrayangutta), Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri (Charminar), Amad Balala (Malakpet), Mumtaz Ahmad Khan (Yakutpura) and Moazzam Khan (Bahadurpura).
The MIM, which had seven members in the outgoing assembly was going all out to increase its strength this time by contesting at least 15 assembly seats. It was likely to announce the candidates for Jubilee Hills and Rajindernagar in Hyderabad and a few constituencies in Kurnool and Anantapur districts of Rayalaseema region.
In Lok Sabha apart from Hyderabad, the stronghold of the party, the MIM was also likely to contest from Secunderabad. Hyderabad Mayor Majid Hussain was likely to be party’s candidate from Secunderabad where the BJP was likely to field either former union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and or the state party president G Kishan Reddy.
As far as Hyderabad was concerned, the MIM has been winning the seat without any break from 1984. While Salahuddin Owaisi represented it till 1999, his successor and elder son Asaduddin Owaisi won the seat in 2004 and 2009.
In the last elections Asaduddin won the seat by a margin of nearly 1.15 lakh votes by defeating Zahed Ali Khan of Telugu Desam party.
If the BJP and the TDP reach an under standing, they were likely to field a strong candidate in bid to capture the prestigious seat.
MIM sees a chance of wresting Secunderabad as the constituency has 42 per cent Muslim votes.