Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM party by announcing to contest 25 seats in the upcoming Bihar elections in the Muslim-majority Seemanchal region of Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar and Araria last week has given real meaning to the Rajesh Khanna starrer ‘Dushman’ movie’s title song ‘dushman dushman jo doston se pyara hai’ which was a big hit in the 70’s.
Many are looking very closely at Bihar as the election will bring the “Modi Rath” to a standstill since it is the last opportunity for them to shore up their Rajya Sabha numbers.
Both AIMIM and BJP are right wing parties, albeit with different religious ideologies.
While BJP is a much bigger party than AIMIM, both the parties stand to gain a lot from polarisation.
Owaisi, by causing confusion and some division in Muslim votes, would surely split the vote and the biggest beneficiary of this polarisation may actually be the BJP. It has already helped communal parties’ secure more than two dozen additional seats in Maharashtra.
If the past is anything to go by, the MIM could once again prove to be a spoiler for the “Janata Parivar” coalition of RJD + JD (U) + Congress.
According to a report published in Times of India, well known Muslim intellectual of the state and chairman Urdu Advisory Committee, Shafi Mashhad opposed Owaisi’s entry into Bihar politics and said that the country needed secular polity and as such the likes of Owaisi or any other practitioner of communal brand politics was not welcome.
Shafi made it clear that he was opposed to Owaisi on account of the principle of secularism. Minority communslism can only fan majority communslism and a communslist was a communalist. There are no good communalists and bad communalists, he said.
While AIMIM is neither a representative of Muslims and BJP is neither a representative of Hindus, as they claim to be, but the fact remains they are able to reap votes based on their religious appeal and offer the ideal fodder to each other for political profit.