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Kishanganj is Real Question that Asaduddin Owaisi Needs to Answer

Whatever the AIMIM and Owaisi have are the defectors and leftovers from other parties, many of them corrupt

Friday November 20, 2020 2:38 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com


[AIMIM celebrating the victory of Mufti Ismael in 2019 Maharashtra state election. (File photo: ummid.com)]

Mumbai: Ten days after 2020 Bihar Assembly election results are announced, knives are still out against Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

Owaisi's critics and political opponents are accusing him of dividing the so called “secular votes” and thus paving the way for yet another term of the NDA rule (misrule?). Team ummid.com did an in-depth analysis of the Bihar election results and found no basis in the allegations against Asaduddin Owaisi and his AIMIM. (Read here: No, Owaisi did not divide Muslim votes in Bihar: EC Data)

The question however which, nobody is asking and which Asaduddin Owaisi must answer, is why he lost the election in Kishanganj – the Muslim majority Assembly constituency which actually proved the “Gateway” to the Bihar Assembly for the AIMIM?

The AIMIM had won the Kishanganj seat only a year ago – in October 2019. AIMIM candidate, Qamrul Hoda, had defeated Sweety Singh of BJP in the 2019 by-election held in Kishanganj. The Congress candidate was at a distant 3rd position in the 2019 polls.

The question is what happened in just one year that AIMIM candidate Qamrul Huda lost the seat to the Congress and came, not even 2nd, but dropped to the 3rd position in the 2020 Bihar polls?

Asaduddin Owaisi in his speeches always talks about his commitment for the community. He promises empowerment of the Muslims, who tired of other political parties, are voting for him in search of the much talked about “change”, the change which other political parties could not bring in despite grabbing power - courtesy Muslim votes. The change, which Owaisi promises, and lure Muslims to seek their votes.

Hoping for the “promised change” and looking at the AIMIM as a better alternative to the Congress and other parties, Muslims have voted for Owaisi not only in Bihar, but also in Maharashtra, besides of course Hyderabad (Not Telangana, because the AIMIM has absolutely no takers in other parts of the state except Hyderabad).

There is again a good possibility for the voters to prefer AIMIM over Congress and other so called secular parties in the upcoming state election in West Bengal and the 2022 state election in Uttar Pradesh.

The AIMIM victory in the 2020 Bihar elections is significant. Asaduddin Owaisi, for this indeed deserve applause. But, before celebrating the 05 seats the AIMIM has won in Bihar and moving forward to contest elections in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, Owaisi must answer why his party lost in Kishanganj? Did he fail to deliver his promises because of which the voters in Kishanganj, who had overwhelmingly voted for the AIMIM in the 2019 by-polls, returned back to the grand old Congress party once again in the 2020 election?

Owaisi owes explanation for the loss in Kishanganj also because this Muslim majority seat in Bihar is not the only constituency where Owaisi has failed to repeat electoral victory. Contesting outside Telangana (outside Hyderabad will be more correct) for the first time, the AIMIM had won 13 members in 2012 Nanded Civic Elections. It was this AIMIM march in Nanded that had actually helped Owaisi to set foot in other parts of Maharashtra.

Later, the AIMIM won 02 seats in the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, and also few seats here and there in local body elections of Maharashtra, including an impressive 26 in Aurangabad Municipal Corporation election.

Riding on these successes and exploiting the voters’ sentiments who are fed-up with the Congress and its allies, AIMIM also registered a significant victory in the 2019 Parliamentary elections, winning the Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat.

However, in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly Elections a few months later, the AIMIM failed to retain the Aurangabad Assembly seat emptied by its MP Imtiyaz Jaleel, and also lost the Byculla seat in Mumbai from where Waris Pathan had won in 2014.

Earlier, the AIMIM had also failed in repeating its performance in the consequent local body elections in Nanded and other places.

Nonetheless, by this time Owaisi was able to win two new seats – Malegaon Centre and Dhule Centre – both Muslim majority constituencies in 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections. But, anger against AIMIM MLAs in Malegaon and Dhule – elected only a year ago, is so high at present that if elections are held today, Kishanganj story could certainly be repeated in these two constituencies.

Talking to local residents about AIMIM rise and fall, it is revealed that voters actually don’t see any difference between the AIMIM MLAs and Councillors, and those belonging to other parties. Local resident alleged that Owaisi exploits voters’ sentiments, make big promises, but at the end, all these promises remain limited to election time speeches.

Local residents also alleged that the AIMIM neither has vision and implementable policy to bring the change Owaisi promises in his election speeches nor has he any cadre on the ground. Whatever the AIMIM and Owaisi have are the defectors and leftovers from other parties, many of them incompetent, corrupt and also have criminal cases pending against them (What's happening in Bhiwandi AIMIM is the latest example.)

This therefore is a warning for those who are expecting too much from Asadduddin Owaisi and his AIMIM, unless of course he comes out with some really good program beyond election time rhetoric and create a team of committed cadre capable of working on ground.

[The writer, Aleem Faizee, is Founder Editor of ummid.com.]

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