The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Monday announced that it would contest by-elections in two assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Party chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the party will field candidates in the Bikapur and Muzaffarnagar constituencies where by-elections are likely to be held in a month or two.
The seats fell vacant due to the death of Samajwadi Party legislators.
The AIMIM appears to be testing the waters ahead of the assembly elections, scheduled to be held in the state in 2017.
The party also announced on Monday that it would contest six seats in Bihar.
The party, which has seven members in the Telangana assembly, opened its account in Maharashtra last year by winning two seats.
With aggressive plans for a pan-India presence, AIMIM had been preparing for more than a year to have a base in Uttar Pradesh.
Owaisi has accused the Samajwadi Party government of not allowing him to hold public meetings in Uttar Pradesh. He said the government cancelled on 12 occasions permission to organise public meetings.
“Mulayam Singh is not giving me permission. I will see how he is going to stop me when elections will be held under the Election Commission of India,” said Owaisi.
The MP has been bitterly critical of the Samajwadi Party government for its handling of the Muzzafarnagar riots which left some 60 people dead and thousands homeless.
He lashed out at the government over the manner in which it dealt with last week’s Dadri incident in which a Muslim was lynched by a mob following rumours that his family consumed beef.