New Delhi: It was a strategic failure on the part of the Congress to have remained assured of the support from the Muslim community during the Bihar Assembly elections. As made evident by the results, the Congress’ lack of work in the ground made it lose heavily, especially in the Seemanchal region, say party leaders.
The Congress Minority leaders were ignored in campaigning and micro managing the elections in the Muslim dominated areas, a Congress leader said. In the whole state, it was presumed that the Muslims would vote for the Grand Alliance, but they were divided in Seemanchal where the AIMIM won five seats and led to the loss of seats for the alliance.
In Kishanganj, the Congress candidate could manage the win by a close margin of around 1,000 votes as the AIMIM got more than 41,000 votes.
While former Union Minister Shakil Ahmed Khan maintained, “In the last minutes, the administration gave the certificate to the NDA candidates and winners became losers”.
He cited the case of two constituencies where the candidates were defeated after being declared winner.
But another leader Shakiluzaman Ansari said he had flagged the issue of the Muslim voters in meetings.
He said that he had categorically conveyed that the Muslims in their dominated areas should not be taken for granted in view of the AIMIM being in the fray.
“I was ignored and only Imran Pratapgarhi was campaigning. But to micro manage the elections, senior leaders of the state had to do a lot in the areas,” said Ansari.
Tariq Anwar, Imran Pratapgarhi
Neither the skills of former Union Minister Shakil Ahmed were used nor was Ansari given the importance. It was only Tariq Anwar and Imran Pratapgarhi, who campaigned and the result of all is that the Grand Alliance missed the bus with only 12 seats.
The opposition Mahagathbandhan ended up with 110 seats, with the Rashtriya Janata Dal winning 75 seats, the Congress 19 and the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (Liberation) winning 12. The Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won two seats each.