AIMIM's march continues in North India, emerges as a powerful factor in Seemanchal
Shams Ur Rehman Alavi
PATNA/KISHANGANJ: AIMIM has emerged as a factor in the politics of Bihar.
The results of Bihar Assembly elections clearly suggest that the party that was once limited to Hyderabad, has now expanded and has established its base in Seemanchal region of Bihar.
AIMIM was all set to win five seats in the state. It was leading on four and had won one seat, according to the latest trends from the Election Commission. After Telangana and Maharashtra, the growing presence of AIMIM in other states is certainly a phenomenon that political watchers are keenly focusing on.
While Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) and several other prominent outfits failed to perform well, AIMIM has made its presence felt, contesting a limited number of seats in the state. After the results, Owaisi hinted that his party would contest in West Bengal and other states too.
RAISING ISSUES ABOUT SEEMANCHAL, ITS BACKWARDNESS HELPLED AIMIM
Kishanganj, Araria, Poornea and Katihar are the districts with a higher concentration of Muslim population in Bihar. Lack of development and failure of successive governments to build colleges, hospitals or other institutions has become a major issue. Owaisi had also raised the issue in Parliament.
The party has consistently talked about migration from the region, lack of employment opportunities and also the poor infrastructure. Last year, AIMIM had opened its account in Bihar, when it won a seat in the bypoll. Now, it has emerged victorious on five seats viz. Amour, Kochadhaman, Jokihat, Baisi and Bahadurganj.
AIMIM's state unit and its regional chief Akhtarul Iman, has also been raising the backwardness of Seemanchal, and has repeatedly highlighted failure of other political parties in this regard. Clearly, AIMIM cadre has emerged and its narrative has won over a section of electorate.
WHY ARE PARTIES ALARMED WITH MAJLIS' PERFORMANCE
AIMIM has steadily entered North India, and already Congress is feeling heat. It is not the first election they have fought. They were not in a hurry. They earlier too fought in Bihar, lost. Then, then won a seat in bypoll and now they have got five seats in the Assembly.
Earlier, they had also got seats in civic bodies in Uttar Pradesh. It is clear that their cadre is building up. The seats won in Bihar, alarm the parties because of a reason. Though AIMIM got just 1.24% votes. But the parties, from Congress to Samajwadi Party, and several other outfits are worried what will happen if they start getting 10-15% votes.
In states like Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan, where Muslims primarly vote for the Congress, the party doesn't give adequate representation to Muslims. When in power, portfolios like the minority ministry or the Waqf department are given. Besides, in organisation, parties ignore Muslims.
Despite overwhelmingly voting for Congress, there are hardly any district unit chiefs who are Muslim, in Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan, Muslim vote played a crucial role in government formation and also in Congress' victory in civic polls, but Muslims were not even considered for the post of Mayor or Deputy Mayor.
This is a wake up call. Congress and several other parties who have taken Muslims for granted for ages, now fear that Muslims will not be compelled to vote for them, and that there will be an option. Either Congress and other secular parties should start giving representation to Muslims or they must face the reality.