Former Supreme Court judge and ex chairman of Press Council of India, Markandey Katju, has questioned the ‘real game’ of Asaduddin Owaisi, whose party AIMIM is contesting elections in Seemanchal area of Bihar.
Justice Katju, who’s known for his plainspeak asked if Owaisi was working at the behest of a political party, which will benefit from the division of Muslim votes.
He said, “I sometimes wonder what Owaisi is really up to ? Is he really wanting to serve the Muslims, or is he working at the behest of a political party perceived to be anti-Muslim to divide the Muslim votes in elections ? Whatever his real intentions, one thing Owaisi and his ilk, and quislings like Najma Heptulla, Shah Nawaz Husain, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, M.J. Akbar etc, must know : Muslims can no longer be befooled. They have learnt from long bitter experience.”
Owaisi has often been accused of working in collusion with the BJP but the Hyderabad-based party leader recently rubbished the charge. He denied that his entry in Bihar will brighten the poll prospects of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. BJP-led alliance is seeking to wrest the power from the two-term chief minister, Nitish Kumar.
Owaisi had said, “we didn’t contest municipal polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Why did the so-called secular parties not win there?”
The party, which has seven members in the Telangana assembly, had opened its account in Maharashtra last year by winning two seats.
There are more than 25 seats in Bihar’s Semmanchal districts such as Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar, where Muslim voters constitute more than 45 percent. But analysts feel that Muslims here, unlike Maharashtra, may not warm up to his brand of politics. That’s largely because unlike Maharashtra, Musmims in Bihar have been largely happy with Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav. Muslims in Maharashtra were aggrieved with the Congress-NCP alliance for doing little in checking communal riots and ‘unreasonable’ arrests of members of their community.
Bihar goes to poll in five stages with first phase of voting scheduled to take place on 12 October. The counting will begin on 8 November.