Controversial Muslim political outfit All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi has decided to contest in the West Bengal assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2021, reports Hindustan Times.
Reportedly, the Islamic outfit has asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also the Chief of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to decide whether she considers the AIMIM a friend or a foe. The AIMIM has never contested any election in Bengal and has no formal committee there.
“It is true that we are fewer in number, but do not dare touch us. We are atom bombs. Didi, we welcome your friendship and enmity as well. You have to decide whether you consider us friends or foes,” AIMIM national spokesperson and Bengal observer, Asim Waqar has stated recently.
Ye Sach hai ki ham tadaad me Kam hai,
Lekin chhu mat Lena ham #Atom_Bomb hai ,,#DIDI
hame apki dosti Bhi kubul
Hame aapki Dushmani bhi kubul ,
Ye apko tai krna hai ki aap hamko apna dost manti hai ya Dushman@asadowaisi@aimim_nationalhttps://t.co/1p4PeYwzGH
— syed asim waqar (@syedasimwaqar) July 29, 2019
While Waqar’s Twitter account is not verified, he is being followed by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
Reportedly, tensions had erupted between AIMIM and TMC after AIMIM all-Bengal workers’ meet scheduled at Nazrul Mancha, a state-government run auditorium, was cancelled at the last minute. Officials at Nazrul Mancha refused to speak on the matter since the auditorium is under the information and culture department headed by Chief Minister herself.
AIMIM had held a meeting at Dharamtalla, Bengal on July 28, where AIMIM’s Maharashtra MLA Waris Pathan was also present. Speaking in the meeting where AIMIM supporters were standing with chairs over their heads to protect themselves, Asim Waqar declared that they have been struggling since the initial days of Islam against Jews. He urged the crowd to shout ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ so that their voices are heard in ‘America and Israel’ too.
— Shaik Hussam (@shaik_hussam) July 29, 2019
BJP Bengal unit general secretary Sayantan Basu said the AIMIM was merely trying to bargain with the TMC for an electoral understanding.
If AIMIM decides to jump into West Bengal electoral fray, it will have larger implications on the politics of the state. As West Bengal has a substantial Muslim population, considered to be the vote bank of the ruling TMC, the entry of AIMIM will further polarise the elections leading to splitting up of Muslim votes in favour of Owaisi’s party, causing a setback to the ruling TMC.
If AIMIM actually decides to contest West Bengal assembly polls, it will put the ruling TMC in a fix. Firstly because the TMC has been known for its appeasement politics to cash in on the Muslim vote bank. So AIMIM’ entry will mean TMC will have to try harder. Secondly, TMC’s attempt to shed the appeasement baggage and the recent jolt of Hindu consolidation towards BJP that was seen in the Lok Sabha polls might make things harder for Mamata’s party if AIMIM enters into the fray.