Home » News » Politics » BJP eyes gains as Asaduddin Owaisi and Pappu Yadav give jitters to JDU-RJD in Bihar's Seemanchal
2-MIN READ

BJP eyes gains as Asaduddin Owaisi and Pappu Yadav give jitters to JDU-RJD in Bihar's Seemanchal

BJP eyes gains as Asaduddin Owaisi and Pappu Yadav give jitters to JDU-RJD in Bihar's Seemanchal

While Congress as well as BJP, too, were in Owaisi's line of fire but most of the ammunition was used to target JDU and RJD.

With the battle lines drawn for Bihar Assembly elections, the fertile ground in the northeastern part of the state known as Seemanchal is witnessing an interesting development. As all major parties finalise their strategies and alliance partners, a new entrant threatens to redraw the entire chessboard.

On Sunday a party with no known links to Bihar till now gave a strong hint of plunging into electoral politics by organising a rally in Kishanganj. Seemanchal is Muslim dominated with Kishanganj as its nerve centre and when the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) held a public meeting where its chief and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi announced his party will put up candidates at 25 seats in the region, it set alarm bells ringing in the Janata Dal United-Rashtriya Janata Dal- Congress alliance.

Owaisi not only lamented the backwardness of the region but also criticised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for not taking steps to ensure development in Seemanchal. While Congress as well as Bharatiya Janata Party, too, were in his line of fire but most of the ammunition was used to target JDU and RJD. The tone and tenor gave enough indication that Owaisi is looking to poach into the vote banks of JDU and RJD.

AIMIM's candidate from Kishanganj will be former RJD MLA from Kochadaman Akhtarul Iman. Iman grabbed national headlines during the 2014 Lok Sabha election when he ditched Lalu's party to join the JDU and was named the Lok Sabha election candidate from Kishanganj Lok Sabha. But in a sudden development he fled from the race claiming that his move was to ensure Muslim votes don't split and Congress candidate Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, who won easily, was a better bet.

Naming Iman as a candidate shows that finding strong candidates will not be easy for AIMIM but coupled with another development, Owaisi can deal a huge blow to the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad alliance which is facing a strong opponent in the BJP-led NDA.
In May when RJD expelled its Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, a strongman of Seemanchal, the BJP found an unlikely ally. Pappu Yadav, acquitted in 2013 by the Patna High Court in the murder of Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Ajit Sarkar in May 1998 due to lack of evidence, is also a strong anti-Nitish voice and has floated his own Jan Adhikar Morcha.

The five-time MP has a strong base in Seemanchal region and is capable of not only cutting into the vote banks of his rivals but also ensuring the victory of candidates having his support.

After Sunday's rally by AIMIM, BJP leaders are confident that these two developments will give sleepless nights to both JDU and RJD. Having won 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, it was only the Seemanchal region where the BJP-led NDA failed to have a favourable result where the JDU-RJD-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party held sway.

But the twin developments of Owaisi’s AIMIM trying to make its electoral debut in Bihar and Pappu Yadav getting closer to the NDA have ensured that the chances of Nitish Kumar-led alliance only gets tougher.