West Bengal elections: Why Asaduddin Owaisi’s Bengal visit has left Mamata Banerjee’s TMC fuming

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January 4, 2021 1:09 PM

In Bihar, the AIMIM contested on 20 seats and won 5. The RJD-led Mahagathbandhan won 9 seats while the BJP secured six. It is believed that had it not been the AIMIM, the Mahagathbandhan would have won 15-17 seats in Muslim-dominated Seemanchal.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi

Owaisi vs Mamata in Bengal: AIMIM chief Assaduddin Owaisi on Sunday fired back at Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, which accused him of being the B-Team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The accusation came right after Owaisi met an influential Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui in Bengal to discuss the upcoming assembly polls in the eastern state, which has about 110-120 Muslim dominated constituencies, enough to tip the balance in a close contest which is likely with the rise of BJP in Bengal. The TMC is eyeing these 100-odd seats, but it would be difficult for the ruling party to easily sail through if Owaisi does what he did in the recently held assembly elections in neighbouring Bihar.

In Bihar, the AIMIM contested on 20 seats and won 5. The RJD-led Mahagathbandhan won 9 seats while the BJP secured six. It is believed that had it not been the AIMIM, the Mahagathbandhan would have won 15-17 seats in Muslim-dominated Seemanchal. This would have increased Opposition’s tally to over 115 and brought down NDA’s number under 120. With support of others, the Mahagathbandhan would have installed its government in Bihar.

The TMC fears the same fate with the entry of Owaisi in Bengal. TMC and Congress have called Owaisi the “B-Team of BJP” and a vote-splitter party. However, Owaisi on Sunday hit back at the TMC, asking it to introspect why the BJP won 18 Lok Sabha seats in the last general election held in 2019. Owaisi also asked Mamata Banerjee to think why many of its regional leaders were leaving the TMC. He said: “We are a political party, we will establish our presence and fight the elections in Bengal… The TMC should introspect and find out what worked in BJP’s favour during Lok Sabha elections. The party should analyse why its members are leaving.”

In 2019, the BJP had got close to 41 per cent votes and 18 seats while the TMC got 22 with over 43 per cent votes. However, TMC’s tally had come down by 12 seats. It was a massive boost for the saffron party which has now gone full throttle to wrest power from TMC. Last month, the BJP delivered a massive jolt to TMC by inducting its second biggest mass leader Suvendu Adhikary. Owaisi was referring to Adhikary when he trained guns at Banerjee.

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