Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM suffered a major setback in Bihar today after four of its five MLAs joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The RJD’s strength in the state Assembly thus went up to 79, helping it regain the status of single largest party in Bihar.
The four AIMIM MLAs who joined the RJD are Shahnawaz, Izhar, Anjar Nayani and Syed Rukundin. Now, only party’s state chief Akhtarul Imam is left with in the camp.
News agency IANS, in an earlier report, quoted sources as saying that four AIMIM MLAs are in contact with the RJD as they are apprehensive about their future after the 2021 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which the Owaisi-led party had fielded its candidates on more than 90 seats but failed to win even a single constituency.
Interestingly, the AIMIM, which is mainly backed by the Muslim voters, had cut into the votebank of RJD in at least 20 constituencies in the 2020 Bihar Assembly election. However, the Muslims in UP did not vote for the Hyderabad-based party.
In March this year, the BJP had surpassed the RJD to become the single largest party in Bihar after three MLAs of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), led by Bihar minister Mukesh Sahani, jumped ship to the saffron party. With the three VIP MLAs joining the BJP, saffron party’s tally in the state assembly rose to 77 from the previous 74.
Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has 45 MLAs, Congress has 19 while the Left parties have a combined strength of 15 MLAs.