Parties in Bihar not bothered by AIMIM’s entry

Patna: Ahead of the upcoming Bihar polls, parties preparing for elections on Saturday said AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi’s announcement of his party jumping into the fray is not going to affect anyone’s poll prospects.

Be it the alliance of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) and Congress or the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) – led National Democratic Alliance or Nationalist Congress Party, which is trying to form a third front with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, they said AIMIM’s entry would not have any impact on them.

Owaisi announced on Saturday that his party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will contest the Bihar assembly elections.

“Owaisi’s party presence in fray will not affect our social support base in Bihar polls. We are confident that the grand alliance will perform well as expected,” JD-U spokesperson Ajay Alok told media here.

The JD-U leader said people understand everything and our commitment to development and rule of law are for all – it is part of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s agenda of development with justice.

Senior RJD leader Neyamatullah said Owaisi’s entry in Bihar polls would not have any impact. “We are not worried of Owaisi entry. The grand alliance will win all seats despite this development.”

Stating that Owaisi’s decision to contest polls only from Seemanchal region of Bihar was a part of a conspiracy, he said “Like what Owaisi did in Maharashtra polls, he wants to repeat in Bihar. But it will not happen here.”

Congress spokesperson Prem Chand Mishra said people have already made up their minds to support the grand alliance. “Owaisi’s entry in Bihar polls is not going to harm us.”

BJP spokesperson and former union minister Shahnawaz Hussain said his party was ready to challenge Owaisi’s AIMIM in Bihar polls. “BJP is ready to give tough fight to Owaisi’s party in polls in Seemanchal region. People in that region, particularly Muslims in sizeable numbers will support us.”

BJP’s ally Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan said Owaisi was free to contest Bihar polls but he would not be able to taste success. “Owaisi is eyeing a specific vote bank, which is a strong social support base of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.”

NCP leader Tariq Anwar said Owaisi’s party would become a zero in Bihar polls. “Bihar polls is different, if Owaisi thinks to fool Muslims, he will receive a certain set back.”

Anwar said the NCP and Samajwadi Party would form a third front in Bihar polls.

Owaisi told reporters in Hyderabad that the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will soon announce the number of seats it will contest.

The speculation in political circles here is that he will put up candidates in Muslim-dominated assembly constituencies in Seemanchal region comprising four districts, accounting for 24 assembly seats in the 243-member assembly.

Owaisi has also said that the backwardness of Seemanchal would be the main poll issue for his party.

“We will demand a regional development board under Article 371 of the constitution for the overall development of Seemanchal”, he said, and blamed the Congress, BJP, RJD and JD-U for the region’s backwardness.

Last month Owaisi had addressed a public meeting in Kishanganj district in Seemanchal region.

Bihar will be the third state after Telangana and Maharashtra, where MIM would contest the assembly polls.