Updated: September 13, 2015 3:50:41 am
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi said on Saturday that his party would contest the Bihar assembly elections, but would “limit” itself to the Seemanchal region.
“We are limiting ourself to four districts — Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar. We know the ground reality and our chances of winning. We know our strengths and weaknesses. It is in the interest and justice of Seemanchal region that we are contesting,” Owaisi said.
While he did not disclose the number of seats his party would contest, the four districts together have a total of 24 assembly constituencies. Owaisi has appointed Akhtar Imam as president of his party’s Bihar unit to oversee the campaigning.
Meanwhile, the RJD and JD(U) termed Owaisi’s move as a conspiracy against “secular forces”, but added that any “external” party would not “stand a chance” against their Grand Alliance.
“It is a clear conspiracy and everyone knows who is behind it,” said JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar.
“Unlike Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra… a robust alliance is taking on NDA… There is no space whatsoever for any other political outfit,” said RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha. “Even if there is no conspiracy, Owaisi’s entry shall be recorded as conspiracy,” he said.
NDA leaders also downplayed Owaisi’s decision. “NDA will not be impacted by any extraneous factor,” said LJP MP Chirag Paswan.
“Of the 24 Seemanchal seats, 10 seats are Muslim-dominated… Owaisi’s presence may impact the Grand Alliance,” said a BJP leader.
While the BJP fared well in Seemanchal with its then ally JD(U) till the 2010 polls, it lost its three Lok Sabha seats — Araria, Purnia and Katihar — in the 2014 polls.
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