New Delhi: Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) won five seats in the Bihar assembly elections — Amour, Kochadhaman, Jokihat, Baisi and Bahadurganj.
The AIMIM fielded 20 candidates in the elections to the 243-seat assembly, of which 14 were in the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region. The party had also entered the Grand Democratic Secular Front with Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party.
Addressing a press conference late Tuesday, party chief and Hyderabad MP Owaisi thanked the people of the Seemanchal region for electing five AIMIM candidates.
“We had promised the people of Seemanchal that we will get them justice. It is one of the most backward sections, not only of Bihar, but of the entire country. We will ensure we bring development to the region,” Owaisi said.
‘Vote-cutter’ allegations don’t stand
The Congress, which registered a poor strike-rate in the polls, immediately accused the AIMIM of being a “vote-cutter” — an allegation often levelled against Owaisi’s party.
However, an analysis of the results shows the AIMIM did not play a significant role in denting the vote share of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led opposition Grand Alliance or ‘Mahagathbandhan’.
In fact, of the 20 seats the AIMIM contested, the Mahagathbandhan won on eight — Sherghati, Sahebpur Kamal, Phulwari, Kishanganj, Kasba, Manihari, Araria, Thakurganj — while an independent candidate is leading in Sikta. In all these seats, the AIMIM failed to “dent” the Mahagathbandhan’s vote share.
The NDA, meanwhile, is leading on six seats where the AIMIM contested, but enjoys a significantly larger margin than the Mahagathbandhan in three of them — Sahebganj, Narpatganj and Chhatapur. However, on all six of these seats — also including Raniganj, Pranpur and Barari — the NDA candidates’ lead margins are higher than the votes polled by the AIMIM, indicating that it has not made a significant difference to the Mahagathbandhan’s fortunes.