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No, Owaisi did not divide Muslim votes in Bihar: EC Data

Bihar election results demonstrate that the Congress or other parties can longer fool the Muslims by levelling baseless charges

Friday November 13, 2020 9:42 AM, Team ummid.com

How Many Seats AIMIM Contested in Bihar

[A glimpse of the huge crowd in Asaduddin Owaisi's rally in Bihar. (Photo: Twitter/@syedsulaiman92)]

On the expected lines, soon after the Bihar election results are announced, Congress, RJD and other so called secular parties are accusing Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM of dividing Muslim votes, mainly in Seemanchal region.

These parties are also holding the AIMIM responsible for the defeat of Mahagathbandhan candidates in at least 12 seats.

As per the final results of the 2020 Bihar Assembly Election declared by the Election Commission of India Tuesday, Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress , Left and other parties) fell short of 12 seats to reach the magic number of 122 in the house of 243.

According to the “secular” parties, had Owaisi not contested the elections in Bihar, the 12 seats would have gone in the Grand Alliance kitty and it would have easily dislodged the NDA of JD (U), BJP and others from power.

"BJP's tact of using Owaisi Sahab's party in the Bihar elections has succeeded to an extent”, Congress Party Leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also called Owaisi "Vote Catwa (vote-cutter)" – the term reserved for the people who dare to contest election in front of the Congress. Like Owaisi, Kejriwal in Delhi and Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi in Assam were also “honoured” by this title in the recent past.

Fully ignoring the rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution which gives any citizen of India to form a political party and/or contest election, quite unashamedly Chowdhury asked secular parties to keep distance form Owaisi. Owaisi has rightly vowed to reply to Chowdhury’s outburst on his home turf in West Bengal which is due to go to polls early next year.

“All secular parties should be alert about vote-cutter Owaisi Sahab," Chowdhury was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Election Commission Data of Bihar Results

However, the data released by the Election Commission of India after counting of votes in Bihar not only refutes these allegations but also reveals that the GA candidates lost the elections because they were certainly not the first choice of the voters.

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A detailed analysis by ummid.com of the 21 constituencies where the AIMIM contested the Bihar elections reveals that the AIMIM won 05 out of the 21 seats it contested with convincing margins. In some seats, the AIMIM candidates in fact bagged more than the double votes than the RJD and Congress candidates. The AIMIM candidates in these seats were clearly the first choice of the voters, thus giving the direct fight and defeating the BJP and JD (U) candidates.

On the other hand, in the 16 seats where the AIMIM candidates could not win, they did not bag enough votes to influence the results or divide the “secular” votes as claimed by the Congress and other parties.

Analysis of 05 seats AIMIM won

In Amour for example, AIMIM Bihar Chief Akhtarul Iman bagged a total of 94,459 votes whereas the Congress candidate and sitting MLA Jaleel Mastan could get just 31,863 votes. Saba Zafar of JD (U) was the NDA candidate here who came 2nd with 41,944 votes.

Similarly in Kochadhaman, Mohammad Izhar Asfi of AIMI got 79,548 votes and defeated Mujahid Alam of JD (U) who got 43,476 votes. Mohammad Shahid Alam of RJD could count just 25,740 votes to his account.

Likewise in Baisi Assembly Constituency, AIMIM candidate Ruknuddin Ahmed got 68,416 votes as against 51,850 votes polled by Vinod Kumar of BJP. On the other hand, Abdus Subhan of RJD who came 3rd, could get just 38,254 votes.

Interesting result of Jokihat

Jokihat is the only assembly seat where AIMIM candidate Shahnawaz (son of former Bihar Minister Taslimuddin) was in direct fight with the Grand Alliance candidate. Yet, Shahnawaz bagged 59,523 votes and defeated Sarfaraz Alam of RJD who polled 51,980 votes. BJP candidate Ranjit Yadav came 3rd with 48,892 votes in Jokihat.

The most interesting result is of Bahadurganj assembly seat. AIMIM candidate Mohd Anzar Nayeemi polled a whopping 85,472 and won the seat when Md. Tauseef Alam of the Congress party struggled with a meagre 29,818 votes.

Analysis of the seats where AIMIM lost

It is alleged that the AIMIM candidates ate into the “secular” votes and paved the way for the victory of NDA candidates in at least 12 seats. Ummid.com analysis of 16 of the 21 seats where the party had fielded candidates but lost reveals the opposite.

Analysing the EC data, Team ummid.com found that on a number of these 16 seats the AIMIM candidates bagged less than 10,000 votes (in some seats even less than 5000 votes) whereas the victory margin was far more.

In Narpatganj Assembly seat for example, Jai Prakash Yadav bagged 98,360 votes and defeated Anil Kumar Yadav of RJD by a huge margin of 28,681 votes. AIMIM candidate Hadis got a meagre 5,493 votes in Narpatganj seat – contradicting the claim that the AIMIM candidate is responsible for the victory of the BJP candidate.

Indian Muslims

Similarly in Pranpur seat, Nisha Singh of BJP got 79,592 votes and defeated Tauqir Alam of Congress who got 76,326 votes. The victory margin of the BJP candidate here is 3,266 whereas the AIMIM candidate Hassan Mahmood got just peanut – a total of 507 votes.

Likewise in Chhatapur assembly seat, Neeraj Kumar Singh (93,755 votes) of BJP defeated Vipin Kumar Singh (72,712 votes) of RJD by 21,043 votes. AIMIM candidate Alam got just 1,990 votes – again refuting the claim that he helped BJP to win Chhatapur seat.

On the similar lines, Mohd Muqeem of AIMIM got little over 4000 votes in Sahebganj assembly seat. But, Ramvichar Rai of RJD is defeated by more than 15,300 votes in this Assembly seat.

Same thing happened in Chhatapur and Barari seats where Mahagathbandhan candidates lost because of lacking in their own support base, not due to the presence of the AIMIM candidates who respectively bagged 1,990 and 6,598 votes while the result margin is more.

What happened in Raniganj?

The election result of Raniganj seat is even more interesting. Here, Achmit Rishidev of Janata Dal (U) defeated Avinash Manglam of RJD by 2,395 votes.

Roshan Devi of AIMIM garnered 2,412 votes in Raniganj and could be held responsible for the defeat of the RJD candidate - of course assuming that in her absence all these votes would have gone to RJD.

But here, Parmanand Rishideo of LJP got 5,034 votes. The JD (U) is alleging LJP of eating into its votes. If it is true then in the absence of the LJP candidate, victory margin of the JD (U) candidate in Raniganj would have been tripled.

But, what about the NOTA votes? A total of 5,576 voters opted for NOTA in Raniganj. This is more than the double of the victory margin of the JD (U) candidate. Against this backdrop, how can the AIMIM candidates alone held responsible for NDA candidates’ victory?

In Sherghati, AIMIM candidate Masroor Alam got 14,951 votes whereas in Thakurganj, Owaisi’s man Mahbub Alam bagged an impressive 18,890 votes. In both the seats, however, RJD candidates won – because unlike in other seats here they were the first choice of voters.

Similarly in constituencies like Sahebpur Kamal, Sikta, Phulwari, Manihari, Araria despite the presence of the AIMIM candidates, Grand Alliance won and defeated their NDA rivals with convincing margins.

Who is to blame for the defeat of GA?

The data released by the Election Commission of India clearly showed that the Grand Alliance candidates lost because they could not poll enough votes in their favour. There are a number of seats where candidates from AIMIM or other than NDA and GA candidates were not in fray. The NDA and GA candidates were in direct fight, no “vote cutter” was in the poll battle. But, the GA candidates lost. Why? It is for GA to analyse.

The best example is of Abdul Bari Siddiquee. He is a former minister and has won election a number of times. He contested the 2020 Bihar election as RJD candidate from Keoti Assembly seat and polled 71,053 votes. In the end his tally could not match the 76,320 votes polled by Murari Mohan Jha of BJP.

Siddiqui was in direct fight with Murari Mohan in Keoti. Barring few independents and candidates from smaller parties, no other was there to divide what political parties call is the “secular votes”. But, he lost. Why?

Same thing happened in constituencies like Forbesganj and Gopalganj where Zakir Hussain and Abdul Gafoor of the Congress lost their respective seats to the BJP candidates.

Similarly, RJD candidates Dr Faiyaz Alam and Amar Nath Gami lost the election in Bisfi and Dharbanga. AIMIM did not field any candidates on all these seats. Now whom the GA will blame for these losses?

Why only AIMIM?

The question is why eyebrows are raised only when the AIMIM, AIUDF or Muslims contest elections? Why similar objections are not raised and allegations levelled against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which fielded its candidates in a number of seats in Bihar, but won none.

Why nobody questions Mayawati who elections after elections plays spoiler for the so-called secular candidates? Even in Bihar, she had fielded candidates in a number of seats but won just 01 – who too is a Muslim and won because of the community’s votes. In other seats of Bihar, her party BSP definitely ate into GA votes like it happened in Gopalganj where it polled 40,696 votes and ensured the defeat of Congress candidate Abdul Gafoor. No questions to her. Why?

The crux of the matter in fact is that the Congress and other parties want Muslim votes but they don’t want to empower them socially, politically, educationally and economically. Their policy is to keep Muslims at their mercy. Hence whenever any Muslim strong political voice emerges they start creating hullabaloo. They did the same thing to Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF in Assam and repeating the same with Owaisi and his AIMIM in Bihar and elsewhere.

The fact is that like the Hindutva bandwagon including BJP, RSS and others, the Congress and its allies too have a problem with parties having a Muslim leader or direct association with the community. If religion based politics is disdain why the Congress has allied with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra? Doesn’t a party of Hindus? Whom the BJP is representing? Of course, the Hindus alone. Isn’t it why the entire focus of the BJP is on issues like Article 370, CAA, Ram Temple etc? Whom the Akali Dal represents? Aren’t the Akalis representing only Sikhs?

What is the political ideology of the parties like Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Paswan, Janata Dal (U) of Nitish Kumar, DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, TRS in Telangana and a number of other parties in the Northeast India? Aren’t their political ideology, if they indeed have any, is based on caste, region and religion?

Bihar election results demonstrate that the Congress or other parties can longer fool the Muslims by levelling baseless charges. The voters in this digital era have become more informed and mature. They now refuse to play as vote bank, not only for the Congress but for other parties too. Congress by now must have realised that its support base is shrinking with every passing day.

It is hence, if the Congress really wants Muslim votes and regain its fast losing ground, it seriously needs to engage with the community, understand its problems and plan a strategy with firm commitments. In the absence of such an initiative, AIMIM, AIUDF or may be some new political party will continue to win and might also flourish like the Indian Muslim League in Kerala.


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