Politics lead to strange bed fellows. The much-awaited 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections is expected to witness several unexpected allies.
Catch was informed by sources that the Peace Party of India, which is headed by MLA Dr Mohd Ayub, is reportedly eyeing an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and that he had also gone to meet Owaisi to convince him to form an alliance with his party.
Speaking to Catch, Dr Ayub confirmed the reports and said, "Yes I had gone to meet Owaisi, and I want to form an alliance with AIMIM. Though nothing is confirmed, in due course of time we will decide whether we will contest the UP elections together."
Not only AIMIM, eyeing for alliance with others too
Making his stand clear, Dr Ayub said, "I am not only eyeing an alliance with AIMIM, but with any political party that is anti-BJP. For the betterment of Muslims, AIMIM was the best option, so I approached them first, but I will approach other parties as well."
Speaking about the seat equation, he said, "After I am done with forming the alliances, I will decide on how many seats the Peace Party will contest. What I can say as of now is that the alliance will contest on all the 403 Assembly seats of the state."
'The party is struggling for its existence'
Haji Mohammad Salis, General Secretary of All India Sunni Ulema Council, speaking to Catch, said the party is struggling for its existence in the state and that's why it is looking out for various political parties who can form an alliance with Ayub's party.
"After the 2012 elections, Ayub who used to claim that he joined politics for the betterment of society, disappeared completely. I don't know what he did for the people in his constituency, but he is completely nowhere in the political scenario of UP," he said.
"The Peace Party of India (PPI), which emerged to be the fifth largest political party in the last Assembly elections, is now struggling for its existence; the situation is such that the party will form an alliance with any political party which is slightly visible in the state," he added.
'All is being done for the BJP'
Speaking to Catch on condition of anonymity, a senior Muslim cleric said all the Muslim political parties are forming an alliance to make way for the Bhartiya Janata Party in the upcoming UP polls.
"If the Muslim vote is split between AIMIM, Samajwadi Party, Congress, Peace Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and various other small political parties, then the ultimate benefit will be for the BJP and hence they can easily form the government in the state with or without alliance," said the leader.
Terming the PPI as a political party floated by BJP, the cleric alleged, "Ayub's party is aligned with the BJP and it was floated by the BJP only. The target is to split the votes of the Muslims and provide benefit to the BJP."
'Waiting for announcement'
"We have received reports that talks are on for the alliance, but no senior leader has announced it yet. We are waiting for the announcement," said an AIMIM leader.
"Though we had no plans for any alliance, but Dr Ayub has approached us, so now our high command will decide whether we are going for the alliance or not," added the leader.