Owaisi's party eyes kingmaker's role in Bihartext_fields
Hyderabad : The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), which has bagged five seats in Bihar Assembly elections, is eyeing the role of a kingmaker as the trends Tuesday night shows that the state is heading for a cliff-hanger.
In the event of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan (MGB) falling few seats short of majority, Asaduddin Owaisi's party is likely to extend the crucial support.
The Hyderabad-headquartered party dropped hints that it may extend conditional support to ensure that justice is to Seemanchal, the region where it won the seats.
"Seemanchal is the most backward region of not just in Bihar but in the entire country. Successive governments have done injustice to the region for 60 years," Owaisi said.
He, however, made it clear that a final decision will be taken by the party after consultation with its Bihar unit chief Akhtarul Imaan and the newly-elected MLAs.
"Let all the results come. A clear picture is yet to emerge. We will be able to respond when final tally is before us," the MP from Hyderabad said when asked whether his party would extend the support to the MGB.
He virtually ruled out extending support to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Owaisi, however, slammed his rivals for calling him and his party names during the campaign. "We were called B, C team and 'vote katwa' party. Today we are also blamed for results," he said in an apparent reference to remarks by some Congress leaders.
Terming the results "historic" for AIMIM, Owaisi thanked people of Bihar for voting for the party.
The AIMIM had fielded 21 candidates. "We will analyse reasons for defeat in other constituencies and will try to overcome the weaknesses," he said.
It was a constituent of Grand Democratic Secular Front, which had projected Upendra Kushwaha as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
The Kushwaha-led RLSP, the BSP, the Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic and Democratic Party (Socialist) were the other constituents of the Front. It contested all 243 seats.
The BSP has won a single seat. Owaisi said the results so far were contrary to the expectations of the Front. "But we respect the people's verdict. In a democracy, it's the people who are supreme," he said.
Slamming Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary for criticizing the AIMIM for dividing the votes, Owaisi said his party has every right to contest the election in any part of India.
"We will be going to West Bengal and we will also be contesting in Uttar Pradesh. As a political party, we have every right to contest in any state. Nobody can stop us," he said and advised Congress and other 'so-called' secular parties to stop believing that secularism is alive because of them.
Owaisi said his party wants to contest the elections because it believes in democracy and it wants to give voice to the voiceless.
He recalled that the AIMIM contested six seats in Bihar five years ago but did not win any seat.
The AIMIM made its debut in Bihar Assembly in October last year when it won Kishanganj seat in the by-election.
The party had fielded Akhtarul Iman in the Lok Sabha election from Kishanganj last year but he finished third.
The AIMIM has two members in the Lok Sabha, seven seats in the Telangana Assembly and two seats in the Maharashtra Assembly.