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Lok Sabha Election 2024: Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM to contest on 16 seats in Bihar

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Voting will take place in Bihar in seven phases on April 19, 26, May 7, 13, 20, 25 and June 1. The results will be declared on June 4.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu Patna Published on: March 29, 2024 6:53 IST
Lok Sabha Election 2024, Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM, aimim to contest on 16 seats in Bihar, Shahabuddin
Image Source : AIMIM (X) Lok Sabha Election 2024: Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM to contest on 16 seats in Bihar.

Lok Sabha Election 2024: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Thursday (March 28) announced that it has decided to contest the 16 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. State President Akhtarul Imam said that party candidates will contest the Darbhanga, Pataliputra, Kishanganj, Madhubani, Katihar, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Sheohar, Purnea, Araria, Sitamarhi, Karakat, Maharajganj, Samastipur, Paschim Champaran and Valmiki Nagar seats.

"Our party wanted to be a part of the I.N.D.I.A bloc but they ignored us. We will fight alone against the BJP," he said.

"The Muslim community is lagging every section of the society. Even the backwardness of Muslim people appeared in the caste survey of Bihar. Still, none of the political parties are promoting Muslim leaders in Bihar and the country," Imam said.

He also added that the AIMIM will support Hina Shahab, the widow of Mohd Shahabuddin, if she contests the Lok Sabha election from Siwan.

The AIMIM announcement comes as an alarm bell for the I.N.D.I.A bloc, especially the RJD as it may impact its MY (Muslim-Yadav) equation. During the 2020 Assembly elections, the AIMIM won 5 seats in Bihar but hit the RJD and the Congress in more than 20 seats.

Owaisi's party ready to back Shahabuddin's widow

The AIMIM said it had full sympathy for Hina Shahab, the widow of dreaded gangster-turned-politician Mohd Shahabuddin, and would support her if she contested Lok Sabha polls "as an Independent or on a like-minded party's ticket".

The announcement was made here by AIMIM's lone Bihar MLA Akhtarul Iman, who also heads the party's state unit. Hina Shahab had contested the last couple of Lok Sabha polls as RJD candidate from Siwan, a seat her late husband had won for the party four times.

"We have full sympathy for the widow of the late Shahabuddin. If she chooses to contest the polls as an Independent candidate or on a like-minded party's ticket, the AIMIM will provide her with all support and even help her in campaigning," Iman said at a press conference.

Asked whether AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, the sitting MP from Hyderabad, would also fly down from the Telangana capital to campaign for Hina Shahab, Iman said, "We cannot say anything about him since he has so many engagements. But I have expressed what his party intends to do."

Notably, Hina Shahab has of late been receiving a cold shoulder from the RJD, which became apparent recently when the party's de facto leader Tejashwi Yadav did not meet any member of her family while he was in Siwan for several hours as part of his state-wide 'Jan Vishwas Yatra'.

Moreover, the RJD has also struck an alliance with CPI (ML) Liberation, with which Shahabuddin had been involved in many a violent clash during his lifetime, the most notable instance being the broad daylight killing of Chandrashekhar, a former JNU students' union leader.

Speculations are rife that the CPI(ML) Liberation may contest Siwan as part of the seat-sharing arrangements and Hina Shahab, realising that the RJD has shut its doors on her, has been dropping hints that she would enter the fray again even if the party did not give her a ticket.

Iman also said the AIMIM has now "decided to contest 15 seats" in the state, as against 11 it had declared in the recent past.

"We may contest a few more seats. For example, there has been a lot of pressure from our cadre to contest Madhubani. We will make an announcement if we decide to do so," said Iman, who is himself tipped to try his luck from Kishanganj, the only Muslim-majority seat in Bihar, where he had polled nearly three lakh votes in the last general elections.

The AIMIM leader bristled at allegations of his party being the "B team of BJP" levelled by the JD (U) headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whom he accused of "sitting in the lap" of the saffron party.

He added, "It is erroneous to think that our politics is confined to Muslims, even though our area of influence is in the Seemanchal region where the community's population is relatively higher. In a few days, we will be announcing our candidates and I can declare beforehand that more than half of them will be non-Muslims."

When voting will take place in Bihar 

Voting will take place in Bihar in seven phases on April 19, 26, May 7, 13, 20, 25 and June 1. The results will be declared on June 4.

ALSO READ: AIMIM to contest Lok Sabha polls from Gujarat's Gandhinagar, Bharuch seats eyeing party expansion

ALSO READ: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi moves Supreme Court over implementation of CAA

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