BJP leader Dilip Ghosh has said that if Muslims in West Bengal vote for the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) in next year’s Assembly Elections, it’ll prove how CPIM, TMC and Congress betrayed minorities over the years.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has declared that his party would contest in West Bengal in 2021 after surprisingly bagging five seats in the recently-concluded Bihar Assembly elections.
Ever since the results came out, AIMIM has been the victim of a ferocious attack, mostly by Congress leaders, where it has been called BJP’s “B-Team”. It has been circulated that they cut away Mahagathbandhan’s vote share which indirectly helped the NDA.
Reacting to the development, Ghosh, BJP MP from Midnapore, said that the saffron party was not answerable if AIMIM decided to fight elections.
“AIMIM has MLAs and MPs in several states. If they decide to do politics in this state, how can they be stopped. And what AIMIM will do is not in our hands,” Ghosh was quoted as saying by Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
“We don’t control Muslim votes. But if the Muslims ignore CPIM, TMC and Congress and choose another party, then it’ll show that all the parties have betrayed them over the years,” BJP’s state president in West Bengal added.
Even though the breakout of votes in the constituencies where AIMIM fielded candidates showed that it did not affect Mahagathbandhan’s numbers in Bihar, the oppositions have built the narrative of calling the Hyderabad-headquartered party as BJP’s “middlemen”.
In West Bengal, TMC’s Birbhum district president, Anubrata Mondal, took a jibe at Owaisi and his party. Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin quoted him as saying, “Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen or MIM is BJP’s middleman. This party cut Mahagathbandhan’s vote in 36 seats and helped NDA in winning them.
“I’m the friend of Muslims. But he (Owaisi) is not the friend of Muslims. He is BJP’s absolute middleman.”
Other than Mondal, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, had also launched an attacked on AIMIM for “cutting our votes” in Bihar.
“We were assured of a victory in Bihar but then some smaller parties cost us. Owaisi’s party has played a role in cutting our votes, Owaisi has been used by the BJP to target us,” Chowdhury was quoted as saying by News18.
Responding, Owaisi slammed his rivals for calling him and his party names during the campaign. “We were called B, C team and ‘vote katwa’ party. Today we are also blamed for results,” he said.
“We are coming to Bengal. We are going to Murshidabad, Malda and Dinajpur. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, are the Muslims under some kind of contract to vote for him? He should say why the condition of Minorities are so bad in his own constituency. He should say what has he done for them?” Owaisi added.