The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) registered its first electoral victory in Bihar with its candidate, Qamrul Hoda, winning from Kishanganj where bypoll was held on October 21. According to results available on the Election Commission of India website, Hoda beat his nearest rival, BJP’s Sweety Singh by a margin of 10,204 votes.
The Kishanganj assembly seat fell vacant after Congress MLA Javed Alam’s election to the Lok Sabha.
Reacting to the win, AIMIM’s Bihar president Akhtarul Iman thanked party chief Asaduddin Owaisi for keeping faith in the team. In a tweet, he said, “This is the beginning. And Inshallah we will keep working to be the voice of voiceless. Thanks @asadowaisi saheb for having faith in our team. This could not have been achieved without your kind guidance.”
AIMIM had contested from six constituencies in the 2015 assembly elections when it drew a blank, polling only 36,000 votes in total. In the last Lok Sabha elections, however, Iman had put up a spirited fight from the seat but lost to Congress’s Alam by a narrow margin.
Buoyed by its 2019 Lok Sabha performance, the party decided to expand its footprints in the state. Speaking to The Indian Express, Iman, had earlier said, “It is now time to explore and expand our base beyond Kishanganj. As it is generally perceived, we are not just a party of Muslims. We represent the Dalits and the poor.”
The Kishanganj Lok Sabha constituency has been a bastion of Congress that won both the 2009 and 2014 general elections. Aiming to tap into the Muslim vote that accounts for 70 per cent of the district’s total population, AIMIM had fielded Iman from the constituency. Though he lost, AIMIM did manage to make dents into the Congress’ vote bank.
Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, where counting of votes for the state assembly is underway, AIMIM was leading in two seats, the same number it had won in the last assembly elections.