BJP banks on Owaisi to deliver Bihar’s ‘Seemanchal’ seats

Neither Shahnawaz Hussain nor M.A. Naqvi can deliver the seats but Owaisi arguably can, say observers. In the Assembly election in 2015 Muslim voters ensured Owaisi’s men forfeit their security though

BJP banks on Owaisi to deliver Bihar’s ‘Seemanchal’ seats

Farhana Kalam

Whereas Syed Shah Nawaz Hussain is disposable and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is just a name, it is Asaduddin Owaisi who the BJP needs the most at election time. Each time Owaisi opens his mouth, he adds several thousand votes to the BJP kitty, exclaims activist SB Bhaskar.

Any other Muslim leader, he points out, would have been in jail on sedition charges if he had uttered even 10 per cent of what Owaisi is encouraged to say. It is a two-way traffic. BJP getting votes, Owaisi pursuing his business interests without any interference from the much-feared ED and CBI. Any political party, more so the BJP, would love to have such a ‘Pyara Dushman’ (sweet enemy), the leftist political activist added.

BJP simply does not know what to do with Syed Shah Nawaz Hussain. He is too young to be sent to the Marg Darshak Mandal. Some leaders may have thought that by denying the Bhagalpur ticket to him, they would get rid of Uma Bharati’s brother. But Shah Nawaz Hussain did not oblige. Pocketing humiliation, he continues to campaign and defend his party albeit less convincingly, comments MA Kazmi, a retired IPS officer of the Bihar cadre.

Owaisi, in any case, has one of his feet in the Modi led NDA via his alliance partner KCR of TRS in Telangana. Both look after each other’s political interests and as long as Owaisi is left alone in Hyderabad, he finds there is nothing wrong in KCR playing footsie with BJP at the Centre.

Besides delivering votes to the BJP kitty at the national level, Owaisi has also been serving, by eating into anti BJP votes in Maharashtra and some other states, the BJP.

It was the Seemanchal region of Bihar which, recognising Owaisi’s true colours and real intentions shooed him away from the state. BJP’s defeat in the 2015 Bihar elections is attributed to the political wisdom of Seemanchal Muslims who got security deposits of Owaisi nominees forfeited.

Seemanchal comprises the four Parliamentary constituencies of Purnea, Katihar, Kishanganj and Araria. All these four constituencies along with two other Parliamentary constituencies viz Bhagalpur and Banka go to polls in the second phase on 18 April.

Undaunted by the 2015 rebuff, the alleged BJP agent is once again trying to damage the socio-political fabric of the state through divisive politics, foul language and other questionable techniques. Owaisi has selected the somewhat controversial Akhtarul Iman, a product of sectarian Muslim student organisation affiliated to the right wing Jamaat Islami, the Muslim counter part of RSS that was earlier banned.

The wisdom of Seemanchal Muslims is once again on test. Every vote for Akhtarul Iman will be a vote for Modi, says Congress leader Md Moosa.

On account of his tainted past, Akhtarul Iman needs to be banished from public life, the Congress leader opined. In one of the most blatant acts of political betrayal, the Owaisi pointsman in Bihar in 2014 ditched his then party JD(U). Then a JD(U) candidate, Iman withdrew from the contest midway during the campaign leaving his party leader and Bihar CM high and dry and announced his support for Congress candidate Israrul Haq. The withdrawal from contest was intelligently timed leaving Nitish with no second option.

Wafa dari ba sharte ustawari ain iman hai,

Mare gar but kade mein to kabe mein garo brahmin ko

(It is consistent loyalty that matters the most, a Brahmin who remains steadfast in his belief system deserves a sacred place post death), said the great Urdu poet Iqbal.

While ditching Nitish Kumar in 2014, ‘Iman’ did not even care for his surname, quips Prof Arun Kumar.

Will he be able to divide Muslim votes in Seemanchal this time and deliver some of the seats to the NDA?

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