All five MLAs of Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM in Bihar on Thursday met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna but dismissed speculations of political realignment. They took a jibe at the ruling JD(U)-BJP combines in Bihar, likening it to a family in which the members lacked compatibility but were unwilling to part ways.
AIMIM MLA Akhtarul Iman, who also heads the party's unit in the state where it made a splash in the recent assembly elections by winning five seats, made the wry remark after a meeting with the chief minister.
Iman, who was previously with the chief ministers JD(U), was accompanied by the other four MLAs of his new political abode.
"There are families in which people are unable to co-exist peacefully but not ready to break ties either. This results in the kids going astray.
"Similar is the case here. The 'kheench-taan' (tug of war) on political level has led the bureaucracy to run amok", Iman said without mentioning JD(U) or BJP by the name.
He was replying to a query about what he thought about the ruling coalition which has undergone a change in power equation as a result of the BJP returning with a far greater number of seats than the JD(U).
When asked about the possibility of the AIMIM MLAs meeting with Kumar giving rise to speculations about a political realignment in Bihar, he quipped "it is up to the media whether to make a mountain out of a molehill".
It was pointed out to him that the chief ministers party has been making overtures to smaller players in a bid to augment its strength and examples were cited of MLAs who recently met Kumar and have, thereafter, ended up siding with the NDA camp.
Zama Khan, the lone BSP MLA in Bihar, last week merged his party with the JD(U) while Independent legislator Sumit Singh has pledged full support to Kumars government.
Moreover, the lone LJP MLA Raj Kumar Singh also met kumar earlier in the day and the development, which came barely a few days after his visit to the residence of Kumars key aide and state minister Ashok Choudhary, has fuelled speculations that the Matihani legislator might gravitate towards the JD(U), rebuffing his party boss Chirag Paswan.
Iman said dismissively, "it is not for me to speak about what others are doing", but added "the chief ministers residence is like a busy street through which pass all sorts of processions.
"Legislators would keep meeting for varied reasons. These may be related to party politics or to their constituencies".
He also disclosed that the AIMIM MLAs, all of whom are elected from the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region, flagged the issue of woeful infrastructure in the Kosi belt "where even now people have to travel 50 kms or more to reach a bridge and cross a river".
"Even the chief minister was stunned when he learnt about the situation on the ground. We hope, given his professed commitment to development with justice, Seemanchal will get its due", he added.