Congress Claims Owaisi Used by BJP to Target It, Accuses AIMIM of Playing Role in Cutting Bihar Votes
File photo of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. (PTI)
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary on Tuesday accused Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM party of playing a role in cutting the alliance Mahagathbandhan's votes in the Bihar Assembly elections where counting is underway.
The AIMIM has won five seats so far: Akhtarul Iman from Amour Assembly constituency, Muhammed Izhar Asfi from Kochadhamam Assembly constituency, Shahnawaz Alam from Jokihat Assembly constituency, Syed Ruknuddin from Baisi Assembly constituency, and Azhar Nayeemi from Bahadurgunj Assembly constituency.
"We were assured of a victory in Bihar but then some smaller parties cost us," he said. "Owaisi's party has played a role in cutting our votes, Owaisi has been used by the BJP to target us."
"The BJP has used the LJP to cut down Nitish Kumar's votes," said Choudhary. LJP chief Chirag Paswan, earlier an NDA ally, had refused to contest with the JDU citing differences with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Ahead of the final phase of polling in Bihar on November 7, the Congress had targeted Owaisi and termed him the B-team of the BJP. The Congress attack had come ahead of voting in Seemanchal where the minority votes were in sizeable numbers. The Congress had asked when the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) was contesting on only nine seats in Telangana then how was it contesting on so many seats in other states.
The Seemanchal and Kosi regions in Bihar are expected to provide a good opportunity to all political parties. Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Supaul are considered Muslim dominant areas, apart from the presence of the Yadav, OBC and upper caste communities. Such an equation becomes favourable even for the smaller parties. Besides, these areas are also flood-affected, hence their youth migrate in large numbers.
All these factors encourage leaders like Owaisi, Upendra Kushwaha, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, Sudip Pandey to campaign aggressively here and raise local issues to gain votes for their candidates.
The AIMIM managed to open its account from Kishanganj district in 2015. The RLSP bagged two seats in 2015.
In the ongoing Assembly elections, the AIMIM is contesting on 20 seats and the majority of them are in Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea and Araria districts. The RLSP is also contesting on 104 seats, the NCP is contesting on 145 seats and a major chunk of their candidates are contesting from Seemanchal district.