Editorial

After initial din, AIMIM’s West Bengal campaign on backfoot

After making its mark by winning five seats in the Bihar assembly elections last year and done its best to empower BJP-JD(U) combine and corner secular vote, the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has been preparing for the upcoming West Bengal state polls in a yet conspiracy against Muslim Society.

While the AIMIM was banking on an alliance with a local religious leader to bolster the campaign, its plans seem to have gone a little awry.

As of now, there is no confirmation on the AIMIM’s alliance with Abbas Siddiqui, who heads the Furfura Sharif Dargah in West Bengal’s Hooghly district.

Owaisi, who is also the member of Parliament from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat, met Siddiqui on January 3 and said that he would work with the religious head. However, since then there has seemingly been any headway on the supposed alliance.

There is a direct fight between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Unlike in Bihar, there are no alliances across parties here in West Bengal. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front and Congress have an alliance, means both are marginalised in WB. AIMIM likely to contest the polls, but how many seats are still undecided..

The AIMIM has sent a handful of leaders from Hyderabad as observers to West Bengal as part of its preparation for the upcoming state polls. There is no confirmation on its alliance with Siddiqui, who has since formed a party called Indian Secular Front (ISF), as Siddiqui is also supposedly in talks with a few other parties.

AIMIM appointed adhoc district committee in West Bengal, but it does not have a state unit. It will be interesting to see if the AIMIM managed to cobble up an alliance just before the state elections like it did in Bihar where it also won five assembly seats last year, while All India Muslim Federation is by the side of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee

Owaisi, with support from rebel leaders who joined the AIMIM, joined the third front and contested close to 30 seats in Bihar and killed the united Muslim spirit. The AIMIM managed to win five seats while facing-off against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Congress and Janata Dal (United)-BJP alliances.

In West Bengal, however, chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is believed to have support from a good chunk of the state’s 30% Muslim population and All India Muslim Federation. It is to be seen whether AIMIM dents her support base as well, or if it will fail like it did in Jharkhand.

West Bengal Muslims should show doors to AIMIM otherwise the fate of Muslims will at the foot of RSS which has a secret pack with AIMIM to divide secular vote across the nation.