WB polls: AIMIM aims to repeat Bihar success; ISF wants to emerge as ‘kingmaker’

Kolkata: The entry of two parties, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Indian Secular Front (ISF) into West Bengal politics are likely to impact the result of upcoming assembly polls in the State.

On the one hand, Hyderabad MP and President of AIMIM want to repeat Bihar success and on the other, ISF aims to emerge as a ‘kingmaker’.

Indian Secular Front

The ISF is a new political outfit floated by Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui of Hooghly district’s Furfura Sharif Dargah. Siddiqui is the influential Muslim cleric and might contest the elections from all the assembly constituencies in the State.

Last month, Owaisi held discussions on the state’s political scenario and upcoming assembly polls with Siddiqui.

Later, talking to media, the Hyderabad MP said, “I met Abbas Siddiqui. Our party will contest the West Bengal Assembly polls. AIMIM will stand by Siddiqui’s decision. In the near future, we will be able to tell from which seats our party will field candidates”.

Recently, the West Bengal unit of the Congress sought permission from the party’s central leadership to start a dialogue with ISF, saying that it would prove to be a “game-changer” for the Left-Congress alliance in the upcoming polls.

Muslims in West Bengal

The Muslim population is a deciding factor in 100-110 (out of 294) seats in the state. Till 2019, most of the Muslims used to vote in favour of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

However, due to the entry of two alternatives, AIMIM and ISF, the equation is bound to change. If votes get divided, BJP will be at benefit. Although AIMIM will try its level best to repeat Bihar success, the language may create a hurdle for the party.

The party has strong hold in Urdu speaking Muslims whereas, Bengali speaking Muslims still consider Mamata as their leader.

AIMIM’s performance in other states

Apart from Telangana, AIMIM has won seats in Bihar and Maharashtra. In Bihar, the party got success on five seats whereas, in Maharashtra Assembly, it occupies two seats. Now, the party is spreading its wings to more states to achieve its pan-India goal.

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