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Owaisi Likely To Retain Hyderabad Lok Sabha Seat

Owaisi won the seat in the 2004, 2009 and 2014 general elections thanks to the support of the Muslims in the Muslim-dominated constituency.
Hyderabad | 17th March 2019
All eyes in Telangana for the upcoming elections are on the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency. The reason is that the sitting MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will be contesting for the seat for the fourth consecutive term and expecting to have a cakewalk. Owaisi first contested for the Hyderabad seat in the 2004 elections (and won). He then retained it in the 2009 and the 2014 general elections.

The BJP has been making repeated attempts since 1991 to wrest the seat from the Majlis, but has not succeeded so far.

The Hyderabad parliamentary constituency comprises the Malakpet, Karwan, Goshamahal, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura and Bahadurpura Assembly constituencies. The Charminar, Yakutpura, Bahadurpura and Chandrayangutta Assembly constituencies are completely dominated by Muslims, and Malakpet and Karwan too have a sizeable number of voters from the community. Only the Goshamahal Assembly constituency is dominated by Hindus, and it was this lone Assembly seat from the Hyderabad parliamentary constituency that the MIM lost in 2009 (and it did not field any candidate for the seat in 2014).

Though the seat has become a pocket borough of the MIM for the last 35 years, it used to be a stronghold of the Congress till the 1984 elections. The winning streak of the Congress began from the very first elections held in the year 1951. The then Congress leader Ahmed Mohiuddin won the seat by defeating Communist leader and PDF candidate Makdhoom Mohiuddin. Ahmed Mohiuddin even became a minister in the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet. He later won the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat as well. The Congress retained the Hyderabad seat for six terms after the first elections.

It was in 1984 that Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, Asaduddin Owaisi's father, first won the Hyderabad parliamentary seat for the MIM (as it was then called) by trouncing the TDP-BJP alliance candidate K Prabhakar Reddy by a narrow margin of 3,481 votes in a fiercely-fought election. The Congress secured the third place in the election. Salahuddin Owaisi retained the seat in keenly-fought elections in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. Incidentally, in the 1996 elections, Owaisi trounced the BJP's top leader from Andhra Pradesh M Venkaiah Naidu by a majority of 73,273 votes. And the BJP's Baddam Bal Reddy set a record by losing three times to Owaisi in 1991, 1998 and 1999.

After Salahuddin Owaisi's retirement from active politics in 2004, his son and the present party president Asaduddin Owaisi took over the mantle from his father and won the seat for the first time in the 2004 elections. He defeated his BJP rival by a majority of one lakh votes. In the 2009 elections, Owaisi retained the seat by inflicting a crushing defeat on his TDP rival Zahid Ali Khan by a majority of 1.14 lakh votes.

Salahuddin Owaisi's successive victories in the constituency reflected the consolidation of the Muslim vote under the MIM leadership. In 1984 when Salahuddin Owaisi wrested the Hyderabad seat for the first time, there were hardly 39% Muslims in the constituency. The votes for Owaisi rose from just around 2.22 lakh in 1984 to 4.86 lakh in 1998, and his rivals' votes grew from 2.19 lakh to 4.15 lakh in the same period.

During 1984-2004, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency consisted of a different seven Assembly segments ? Tandur, Vikarabad and Chevella in Rangareddy district, and Karwan, Charminar, Chandrayangutta and Yakutpura in Hyderabad district. A key reason for the Majlis winning the Hyderabad parliamentary seat successively has been its domination of the Charminar, Chandrayangutta and Yakutpura Assembly constituencies all through.

The MIM retained six of the seven Assembly seats it contested for within the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency limits in December 2018. It won Malakpet (by a majority of 23,512 votes), Karwan (50,602 votes), Charminar (32,586 votes) Chandrayangutta (80,264 votes), Yakutpura (46,978 votes) and Bahadurpura (82,518 votes). The BJP retained the Goshamahal Assembly constituency (its candidate being the redoubtable Raja Singh).
filed in:  Hyderabad, Lok Sabha Elections, MIM, Congress, Muslims, Religion, Elections, 2019 General Elections, Asaduddin Owaisi
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