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Year After Opening Bihar Account, Owaisi’s AIMIM Wins 5 Seats in Seemanchal Region

File photo of AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. (PTI)

File photo of AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. (PTI)

The party, which opened its Bihar account last year with a win in the 2019 bypolls won in Amour, Kochadhamam, Jokihat, Baisi and Bahadurgunj, where it had fielded Akhtarul Iman, Muhammed Izhar Asfi, Shahnawaz Alam, Syed Ruknuddin,, and Azhar Nayeemi, respectively.

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Majid Alam

The Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen has won five assembly seats in Bihar with counting of votes still underway.

The party, which opened its Bihar account last year with a win in the 2019 bypolls won in Amour, Kochadhamam, Jokihat, Baisi and Bahadurgunj, where it had fielded Akhtarul Iman, Muhammed Izhar Asfi, Shahnawaz Alam, Syed Ruknuddin,, and Azhar Nayeemi, respectively.

Contesting on 24 seats in the Bihar polls in alliance with former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP, and the BSP, AIMIM had fielded candidates in a number of constituencies, especially those with a high percentage of Muslim voters. The opposition has been dubbing the AIMIM as 'BJP's B-team' arguing that the more votes the AIMIM gets, the more advantageous the position will be for the BJP-JD(U) alliance due to a split in Muslim votes. Of the 24 seats in Seemanchal, the party is contesting on 14 seats.

The Congress repeated its ‘B-team’ charge on Tuesday as trends put the Mahagathbandhan behind the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. "We were assured of a victory in Bihar but then some smaller parties cost us… Owaisi's party has played a role in cutting our votes, Owaisi has been used by the BJP to target us,” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary said.

The AIMIM had performed poorly in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, losing all six seats it contested in Seemanchal area. The party lost deposits in five while it was runner-up in Kochadhaman constituency with its candidate getting 26.14% of votes.

In 2019, the Kishanganj assembly seat fell vacant after Congress MLA Javed Alam’s election to the Lok Sabha. The seat had been dominated by the Congress but AIMIM’s Qamrul Hoda won it in October 2019 with a margin of 10,204 votes against BJP’s Sweety Singh.

AIMIM’s rise in Bihar could be alluded to the Seemanchal factor and the high percentage of Muslim voters. The area, consisting of districts like Araria, Purnia, Kishanganj and Katihar, has seen least infrastructural development and has been neglected by successive governments. The northern territory in Bihar has also been severely affected by floods every year.


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