Owaisi’s Kolkata Rally Cancelled as Cops Deny Permission: AIMIM
His first Kolkata rally was scheduled to start at 1pm on Thursday and was to be held in the Metiabruz area.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s first rally in Kolkata, scheduled to be held on Thursday, 25 February, has been cancelled as the Kolkata Police have denied permission for it, the party has claimed.
The rally was scheduled to start at 1pm on Thursday and was supposed to be held in the Muslim-dominated Metiabruz area, which is a TMC stronghold.
The Metiabruz seat falls in the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, which is Abhishek Banerjee’s constituency. Banerjee is the nephew of Mamata Banerjee.
Owaisi was supposed to kick off the AIMIM’s poll campaign in West Bengal with Thursday’s rally.
According to PTI, AIMIM had come up with posters and the slogan ''Awaz uthane ka waqt aa chuka hain (the time has come to raise your voice),'' ahead of the rally.
AIMIM and the West Bengal Polls
The AIMIM has never contested elections in Bengal prior to this year, but clearly, it seems emboldened about its chances after it won five seats in Bihar's Seemanchal region, which borders Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress had reacted strongly to Owaisi throwing in the hat for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls, likely to be held in April-May.
"The AIMIM is nothing but a proxy of BJP. Owaisi is well aware that Muslims here are mostly Bengali-speaking and won't support him. In Bengal, Muslims stand firmly with Mamata Banerjee," senior TMC leader Sougata Roy had said.
Muslim votes are crucial for the TMC. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 57 percent Hindus voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 32 percent for the TMC, according to the CSDS survey. It was the support of 70 percent Muslims that enabled the TMC to win 23 seats out of 42.
According to a calculation done by The Quint based on the CSDS survey data and census figures, 44 percent of TMC voters in 2019 may have been Muslims. It is for fear of losing this vote that Mamata Banerjee has been attacking Owaisi and denying permission to his rallies.
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