In a severe setback to Asaduddin Owaisi's Bengal plans, West Bengal's acting AIMIM Chief SK Abdul Kalam on Saturday joined Trinamool Congress along with his supporters. Owaisi has often attacked West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee stating she was ' responsible for BJP's rise in the state'. West Bengal, where Mamata Banerjee holds fort with 222 seats, will go to polls in April-May 2021.
Kolkata: West Bengal's acting AIMIM Chief SK Abdul Kalam joins Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with several other members of AIMIM, ahead of Assembly Elections in the state. pic.twitter.com/yWrlNtvN64— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2021
Last Sunday, Owaisi announced that his party will contest the upcoming state assembly elections along with prominent Muslim leader Abbas Siddiqui. Owaisi who met Siddiqui at Futura Sharif in Bengal's Hooghly district said that he will soon decide as to which districts and how many seats will the AIMIM contest on. Siddiqui, a Pirzada (religious leader) from Futura Sharif, has been speaking out against the state government over a host of issues, of late. According to the sources, he is planning to float a minority outfit of his own.
Recently, AIMIM has had a good record, managing to win 5 of the 20 seats it contested in 2020 Bihar state polls. Moreover, it also managed to retain 44 seats in the high-octave Hyderabad civic polls, which had seen BJP throw its entire poll machinery into making inroads into the elusive south. While several Opposition parties have accused Owaisi of being a 'vote-cutter' and 'BJP's B-team', the Hyderabad MP ahs contested saying, "It is my fundamental right of my party to contest for elections - to provide a better alternative to BJP".
Moreover, AIMIM has also announced it will contest for the 2021 West Bengal polls too. Responding to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee who has levelled a massive 'money charge' against the AIMIM and accused it of colluding with the BJP, Owaisi reminded that the Chief Minister was part of the NDA under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Gujarat riots took place at that time. "She is trying to divert all her anger on Owaisi but she has not yet encountered a real Muslim," the AIMIM chief said. AIMIM has also tied up with Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) to make an entry into Gujarat's local bodies' elections and will contest in Uttar Pradesh state polls in 2022.