Last Sunday, January 3rd, Asaduddin Owaisi visited west Bengal to meet Abbas Siddiqui and other Muslim clerics. It is speculated that he made this visit to discuss his election contesting strategy at the state polls, which is going to occur in a few more months in Bengal. He has declared that he will contest the polls and it is expected that Abbas Siddiqui might join him in this journey. The furfura sharif chief and the AIMIM head may be sharing seats in the upcoming assembly elections of 2021.
Feared to be detained at the airport by TMC goons, Owaisi chose to keep the meeting a secret
While the news of the meeting still got limelight in the media, Hyderabad based political leader Asaduddin Owaisi wanted to keep it a secret because of the fear of not being allowed to exit the airport by the TMC “goons”. AIMIM’s state secretary Zameerul Hassan commented on the matter and said, “Owaisi wanted to keep the meeting a secret as we were apprehensive that the TMC government would stop him from exiting the airport. From Kolkata airport, he went straight to Hooghly to meet Abbas Siddiqui. He will leave for Hyderabad in the afternoon”. However, reports were in that Owaisi might hold a virtual meeting with Siddiqui, given the fact that he might not be allowed to visit him, but he changed his mind and paid a visit to Siddiqui personally.
Ruling party TMC is NOT very happy with the visit
As most of the Muslim population is targeted by the AIMIM chief and Abbas Siddiqui as well, the ruling party TMC does not find this idea very friendly. Some of the leaders of TMC are not very happy with this newfound friendship between Abbas Siddiqui and Asaduddin Owaisi. Sougat Roy, a senior TMC leader said, “The AIMIM is nothing but a proxy of the BJP. Owaisi is well aware that Muslims here are mostly Bengali-speaking, and won’t support him. He is trying to forge ties with Abbas Siddiqui, but that won’t yield any result. Muslims in Bengal stand firmly by Mamata Banerjee”.
30 percent Muslim population of Bengal is the target of Owaisi
It is speculated that both Owaisi and Siddiqui are eyeing the 30 percent Muslim population in Bengal for gaining massive support for their new form party for the 2021 state elections. But there are mixed reactions to the strategy as most Muslims are Bengali speaking and thus they might not take a keen interest in the new party formed by both these Muslim leaders. We can only wait till the election is executed and the results come in handy.
The Policy Times suggestion
- If Owaisi and Siddiqui form a political party in Bengal then their motive must not only be based on the development of the Muslim community but the entire state also.
- They must not abide by any religious biases and work towards gaining the trust of all communities residing in Bengal to gain more seats, unlike Bengal’s neighbor state Bihar where they managed to get 5 seats in the last election.