The AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi has played a spoilsport for the RJD-Congress alliance in the Seemanchal region, thus making the road to power a distant dream for Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav. The Seemanchal region comprises four districts Purnia, Katihar, Kishanganj, and Araria. It accounts for 24 assembly seats and holds the key to power. Seemanchal is considered one of the most backward regions in the state. It has a sizeable Muslim population and is considered an RJD-Congress stronghold. But this election, the AIMIM ended up dividing the Muslims votes and hurting the prospects of RJD and benefiting the BJP.
Of the 24 seats in Seemanchal, Owaisi's party contested 14 seats. Owaisi's AIMIM, a constituent of the Grand Democratic Secular Front (GDSF) comprising RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha, Mayawati's BSP, and Devendra Yadav's SJDD, fielded candidates, where Muslims can change the fortunes of a party. Although the alliance projected Kushwaha as its CM candidate, barring the AIMIM, not a single party gained anything this election.
The AIMIM has won five seats -- Amour (Akhtarul Iman), Kochadhamam (Muhammed Izhar Asfi), Jokihat (Shahnawaz Alam), Baisi (Syed Ruknuddin), and Bahadurgunj (Azhar Nayeemi). Besides, the party's candidates have split votes at other places and decimated the hopes of the RJD-Congress.
According to the ECI data, Kishanganj has nearly 70% Muslim voters, followed by Araria with 45%. Katihar and Purnia have 40% and 30% Muslim voters, respectively.
Owaisi addressed multiple rallies in the region and raised the issues of CAA-NRC, migrants, and Seemanchal's neglect by the successive governments. He earned the faith of Muslim voters, while the RJD and Congress leaders refrained from commenting on the topics that the BJP in past used to corner the opposition.
In two of the five seats, the AIMIM secured more than 50% of votes. In Amour assembly seat of Purnia district, the Congress secured just 11.14% votes against AIMIM's 56.55% votes. The JD(U) pocketed 23.09% votes. In Kochadhaman of Kishanganj as well, the AIMIM secured 56.57% votes, the RJD got just 7.4% votes. The JDU secured 28.77% votes.
In the Bahadurganj Assembly seat, AIMIM won with 44.44% votes. The Congress got only 11.17% votes while the BIP pocketed 37.25% votes.
In Baisi, Assembly seat, the AIMIM's Syed Ruknuddin won with more than 30% votes. The BJP got 37.3% votes, nearly 17% more than what RJD got.
It is evident that Muslims in Seemahcal have shown faith in AIMIM than reposing in the RJD-Congress. Owaisi is often called the vote cutter and opposition accuses him of benefiting the BJP, but AIMIM chief in his rallies attacked the RJD-Congress and called himself "different" from them. This led to the massive division of votes and thus the grand alliance faced the heat.
In the 2015 Assembly elections, the Congress had won 9 seats in the Seemanchal region while the RJD and JD(U) had pocketed 3 and 6 seats, respectively.