Although Majilis Ittehadul Muslimin (MIM) party chief boasts of his party not faring so well in the Bihar elections, Political observers, however, point out that securing 5 out of 24 seats cannot be taken lightly in view of the threat of communal polarisation looming large.
MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi during an interaction with the media complained that all the major political parties in Bihar have treated them as untouchables. “Still we have put up an excellent fight”, boasts Asad adding that “Our Bihar Party chief Akhtarul Iman had met all the party heads but none was ready to work with us”.
Further, political observers point out that Asad’s intention behind giving such a statement was to generate sympathy among illiterate poor Muslims that the traditional political parties are not sensitive enough to meet their aspirations. This may bring a division among people so that Asaduddin can capitalise on this in the forthcoming elections in West Bengal which he already declared as his next target.
The question now remains to be answered is, why MIM party despite having fought elections in 24 seats in Bihar could make headway in the remaining 19 segments including Arariya, Krishna Gunj, Purnia, Katihar which are all Muslim dominated segments?. But Asad is no Novice which is evident from his statement: “We, however, will continue our fight against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
It may be recalled, of late, MIM has been focussing on its ambitious plan of expanding the party across the country and as part of its game plan it contested in only those segments where Muslim minority votes are high in numbers. As a first step towards this, the MIM which had confined to the 4 walls of the old city in Hyderabad had contested 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra and in about 48 seats in local body elections along with Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) of Prakash Ambedkar and could win one seat of Aurangabad and the VBA wins the remaining 47 seats. Imtiyaz Jaleel won the Aurangabad seat. Later, AIMIM has opened their account in Bihar by winning Kishanganj assembly seat in the bypolls where in Aktharul Iman was the candidate. Subsequently, he was made party chief in Bihar.
Similarly, the Hyderabad-based party tried to make inroads into various Muslim dominated pockets in other parts of the country by fielding its candidate as part of its long-run strategy of making MIM be the sole alternative for the Muslims in the country. This may as political observers believe might result in a polarisation of people on communal lines which may pose a grave threat to the integrity of the country
However, it is not out of place to mention here that MIM may succeed in its designs to emerge as the sole representative of Muslims in the country as long as it’s intelligentsia begin to understand the consequence of camouflaged political moves of the MIM in the days to come. What started as a trickle in Maharashtra may well reach a gigantic proportion one day and may pose a challenge to the country’s communal fabric.