The Bengal Imam Association on Sunday (January 10th) has made a fervent request to voters in West Bengal to not vote in favor of AIMIM President, Asaduddin Owaisi.
A plethora of senior clerics, civil society teams, and youth boards have begun cautioning the public of Bengal that radical minority political formations don’t have any place in the state and people should refrain from voting for them. Siddiqullah Chowdhury, a minister in the TMC government and president of the JamiatUlema – e –Hind’s state branch has also openly announced that Owaisi has no place in Bengal politics.
Out of 40,000 mosques in Bengal, Muslim clerics from at least 26,000 are members of the association. About a week ago, the head of Bengal Imam Association, Mohammad Yahyaquipped, “Every vote to the AIMIM is a vote for the BJP. Why does a Hyderabadi politician become active in states solely the place BJP faces robust opposition in winning the elections?”, “We vehemently condemn the politics which has been playing over the Muslims in the state. We do not subscribe to religious and caste-based politics.
We don’t want to tolerate religious fanaticism,”, We do not adhere to communal agenda. If required, we have plans to float our own party and take to the streets to protest this kind of politics. Bengali Muslims do not need Muslim leaders from outside the state.”
In a meeting organized last week, comprising all the clerics, the leader QariFazlur Rahman had to say, “People are free to vote for anybody they want and we don’t want to influence that decision. But keep in mind, this time the vote will not only decide the future of the state but of millions of people staying here. There are dividend forces that want to disturb the peace and drive a wedge among people, sowing seeds of hatred. Many people may be targeted for their religious beliefs. We must try to arrive at a consensus and vote responsibly.”
On January 3rd, Owaisi visited Furfura Sharif and met Abbas Siddiqui, hinting at AIMIM’s entry into the scene in 2021, when Assembly elections are due in the state. Furthermore, the entry of AIMIM and alliance with Abbas is said to be aimed to chip away at the minority vote share of the TMC. The Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) parties described Owaisi as BJP’s proxy. After an elaborate show in last year’s Bihar elections, the AIMIM is now eyeing the upcoming Bengal polls.
“Imam Sahab, for over 70 years Muslim has not been divided. Muslims are 27 percent of the Bengal population but 37 percent of the state’s prison population. In whose favor was this undivided vote? Surely not 80 percent of Bengal’s Muslims who earn only 5000 per month.”,“Please also explain to us how / why Mausam Noor lost the election in Malda. I respectfully request you to never underestimate FurfuraShareef and yes we are with Abbas Siddiqui.”
Owaisi’s plan ->He has decided to contest elections in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat and the party has seen some success by tying up with smaller parties.