After Bihar Success, Owaisi’s AIMIM to Contest in UP & Bengal
AIMIM exceeded expectations in the Bihar elections, gaining 5 seats out of 24 in the Seemanchal region.
The Asaduddin Owaisi-led party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) exceeded expectations in the Bihar elections, gaining five seats out of twenty four in the Seemanchal region. The Hyderabad-based party will now contest the Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal polls.
Going neck-and-neck with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Mahagathbandhan, AIMIM announced that it has won from Amour, Kochadhamam, Jokihat, Baisi and Bahadurunj Assembly constituencies reported The New Indian Express.
Allegations of Being a Vote-Cutter By Party Critics
Asaduddin Owaisi’s party has been accused of being a ‘vote cutter’ in the polls by party critics, and Congress has alleged that the AIMIM is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘B-team’.
West Bengal’s Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tweeted, “BJP's tact of using (Asaduddin) Owaisi Sahab's party in the Bihar elections has succeeded to an extent. All secular parties should be alert about vote cutter Owaisi Sahab".
In response to the allegations cast on him for being a ‘vote cutter’, Owaisi questioned the role of the West Bengal Congress leader for the welfare of Muslims in his constituency. "Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has to respond why the condition of Muslims is so bad in his own constituency. He has to say what he did for Muslims," he said to PTI.
“If you see the Muslim political representation in Bihar it is now only 18…18 MLAs have won. What does that speak about our participative form of democracy? You don’t have a Muslim voice, you don’t want to nurture a Muslim voice…you assume that we are only voting machines. And our only job is to vote for you and to uphold your form of secularism, which is completely farce”, he told The Indian Express
“The Congress which is attacking me...who did it lose to? We won I think two seats against the Congress…remaining 49 (of the 70 Congress contested) what happened? Who won those 49 seats? The Congress won one of my seats – Kishanganj…for them that is not vote cutting”, he told The Indian Express in a candid interview after the declaration of the Bihar results.
AIMIM Will Contest in Other States
Owaisi accused the Congress of “sitting in Shiv Sena’s lap (in Maharashtra)” and said he will “fight in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and will fight every election in the country.”
He has not explicitly clarified whether his party will contest alone or in alliance with other parties. He told PTI, “AIMIM will fight in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Time only will tell with whom we will ally.”
His party doesn’t intend to contest in Kerala and Assam but will definitely contest the elections in West Bengal and UP.
“I will not go there and disturb AIUDF in Assam and IUML in Kerala. But yes in West Bengal, UP we will definitely go. Space or no space you have to create your space. I will be speaking to my Bengal unit and I will be taking their opinion and if they are confident in fighting elections then we will definitely take a decision on that,” he told The Indian Express.
According to statistics provided by the Election Commission of India, AIMIM got 1.24 percent of over 4 crore votes polled – a growth from its performance in the Assembly election in 2015 when it secured less than 0.5 percent votes in Bihar, reported PTI.
(Inputs from PTI, New Indian Express and Indian Express)
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