The elections were a mixed bag for Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. The party won two seats in Maharashtra, the same tally as 2014, and proved that its performance last time wasn’t a fluke. However, it couldn’t improve its tally even though its vote share increased from 0.9 percent in 2014 to 1.4 percent.
The more significant achievement for the party is its victory in the Kishanganj Assembly seat in Bihar, which is its first victory in the Hindi heartland.
But first the Maharashtra results.
AIMIM in Maharashtra
There is a clear pattern to the AIMIM’s performance in Maharashtra. It seems to have lost ground in Mumbai but gained aground in rest of the state.
In Malegaon Central, AIMIM’s Mohammad Ismail Abdul Khalique defeat Congress’ Aasif Sheikh by over 38,000 votes.
In Dhule City, AIMIM’s Shah Faruk Anwar defeated independent candidate Rajvardhan Kadambande by a little over 3000 votes.
The AIMIM gave a tough fight in several other seats but couldn’t manage to win. It got 41 percent votes in Aurangabad East, 35 percent in Aurangabad Central and over 20 percent in Nanded South, Nanded North, Byculla and Solapur Central.
AIMIM’s Hindu candidates made their presence felt in seats like Dharavi and Kurla getting 10-15 percent votes. However most of the other candidates fell below 10 percent.
Entry in Bihar
However, the party’s performance in Maharashtra was overshadowed by its victory in the bypoll to the Kishanganj Assembly seat in Bihar. Its candidate Qamrul Hoda defeated BJP’s Sweety Singh by over 10,000 votes.
The bypoll was necessitated after Congress MLA Mohammad Jawed vacated the seat as he was elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year. But the Congress candidate failed to even cross 15 percent and ended up forfeiting her deposit.
The victory is a significant one as it marks the AIMIM’s entry in the Hindi Heartland. Till now the party has only won seats in Telangana and Maharashtra.
This would also boost the AIMIM’s prospects in the Muslim dominated Seemanchal region in North-Eastern Bihar.
The AIMIM also made its presence felt in the Pratapgarh Assembly bypoll in Uttar Pradesh with its candidate Mohammad Irshad securing close to 14 percent votes, ahead of the BSP and Congress and just behind the SP at 15.6 percent. The seat was won by BJP’s ally Apna Dal.