The political scenario in West Bengal is in a state of flux, with several twists and turns taking place almost every day as the 2021 Assembly election in the state draws closer. After many Trinamool Congress stalwarts jumped ships to join BJP recently, reports have emerged that several members of the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) including it’s acting West Bengal unit president Sk Abdul Kalam and convenor Sheikh Anwar Hussain Pasha joined TMC Saturday. The AIMIM leader and his followers joined the TMC in presence of senior party leader and state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.
Kolkata: West Bengal’s acting AIMIM Chief SK Abdul Kalam joins Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with several other members of AIMIM, ahead of Assembly Elections in the state. pic.twitter.com/yWrlNtvN64— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2021
Have joined to keep the “poisonous air” in West Bengal at bay: AIMIM state unit chief
While joining Mamata Banerjee led-TMC at its headquarters in Kolkata, Kalam opined that he has switched sides to keep the “poisonous air” in West Bengal at bay. “We have seen that West Bengal used to be an oasis of peace. But of late, the air has become poisonous and this has to be set right. That is why I decided to join the Trinamool Congress,” he told reporters.
Attacking AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM’s West Bengal convenor Sheikh Anwar Hussain Pasha said that this is not the right time to seek a political entry into West Bengal, claiming that the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party was only acting as a polarizer of votes to help the BJP.
Asaduddin Owaisi eyeing at West Bengal in the upcoming Assembly election
After winning five seats in Bihar and playing spoiler in some seats, speculations were rife that AIMIM will play a major role in the upcoming Assembly election in West Bengal. In fact, the war of words between WB CM Mamata Banerjee and AIMIM chief has already reached a pinnacle. When Mamata Banerjee alleged that the BJP is giving money to a party from Hyderabad to divide votes in the ensuing Assembly elections, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had hit back at her saying the Muslim voters were not her “jagir (property)”. Rubbishing the allegation by the Trinamool Congress leader, Owaisi commented that nobody can buy him with money.
Moreover, the Hyderabad MP had also tweeted that Mamata Banerjee does not like those Muslims who think and speak for themselves.
Will Asaduddin Owaisi dent Mamata Banerjee’s Muslim vote bank?
Now, this sudden development of AIMIM stalwarts jumping ships might turn out to be a big hurdle for Asaduddin Owaisi-led party which is planning to make a debut in poll-bound West Bengal and swing the Muslim votes, which accounts for nearly 30 per cent in West Bengal, in his favour. For years Mamata Banerjee has been thriving in West Bengal by appeasing her Muslim vote bank. Now if Asaduddin Owaisi ventures into West Bengal and consolidates Muslims electorally, it may prove to be a major disaster for the incumbent Trinamool Congress in the state of West Bengal.