AIMIM Bags 5 Seats in Bihar: ‘Win for Seemanchal,’ Says Owaisi
AIMIM’s Bihar chief Akhtarul Iman won from Amour, defeating JD(U)’s Saba Zafar. Congress’ Jalil Mastan stood third.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen has made a major dent in Bihar’s political landscape, winning five seats in the Bihar Assembly elections.
These are the five constituencies it has won and the winning candidates:
- Amour (Purnea district): Akhtarul Iman
- Baisi (Purnea District): Syed Ruknuddin Ahmed
- Jokihat (Araria district): Shahnawaz Alam
- Kochadhaman (Kishanganj district): Mohammad Izhar Asfi
- Bahadurganj (Kishanganj district): Mohammad Anzar Nayeemi
AIMIM national president Asaduddin Owaisi has hailed the victories as a “win for the people for Seemanchal” and a vote for justice for the backward region.
Battle for Amour
The contest for Amour was more than just a constituency specific battle. At stake was the question – who will represent Seemanchal’s Muslims?
The contest here was between AIMIM state president Akhtarul Iman, Congress strongman and six-time MLA Abdul Jalil Mastan, and BJP-turned-JD(U) leader Saba Zafar.
AIMIM’s Akhtarul Iman won the seat by over 50,000 votes, with Saba Zafar standing second and Abdul Jalil Mastan a distant third.
Amour witnessed a great deal of acrimony during the campaign with Mastan even threatening to “break the hands and legs” of AIMIM national president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. The election was also a battle for supremacy within the Surjapuri community to which both Akhtarul Iman and Abdul Jalil Mastan belong.
Kochadhaman, Bahadurganj and Jokihat
The AIMIM also won Kochadhaman, with its candidate Mohammad Izhar Asfi defeating sitting MLA Master Mujahid Alam of the Janata Dal (United) by over 35,000 votes. This was Akhtarul Iman’s seat in 2010 when he was with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
In Jokihat, Shahnawaz Alam defeated RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam by 7,000 votes.
The contest in Jokihat was also an interesting one as the AIMIM and RJD had both put up Shahnawaz Alam and Sarfaraz Alam, who are the sons of former RJD leader Mohammad Taslimuddin. Taslimuddin, who died in 2017, was one of the strongest leaders Seemanchal has seen.
In Bahadurganj, AIMIM candidate Mohammad Izhar Nayeemi defeated his nearest rival Lakhan Lal Pandit of the Vikassheel Insan Parishad by 45,000 votes.
In Baisi, AIMIM’s Syed Ruknuddin Ahmed defeated BJP’s Vinod Kumar by over 15,000 votes,
This is an important comeback for the AIMIM which lost its deposits in all seats except one in 2015, which was its first foray into Bihar.
Owaisi addressed a number of rallies in Bihar and drew huge crowds, particularly in the Seemanchal region.
While a majority of AIMIM’s seats were in Seemanchal, it did put up candidates in other regions as well but its candidates there didn’t make much of an impact.
The AIMIM contested this election as part of the Grand Secular Democratic Front comprising Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and Samajwadi Janata Dal (Democratic).
Other than AIMIM, only the BSP is likely to win some seats. In terms of vote share, the RLSP secured close to two percent votes, while the BSP got around 1.7 percent.
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