Asaduddin Owaisi Visits Bengal, Confirms Electoral Tie-up With Firebrand Islamic Preacher Abbas Siddiqui Furfura
AIMIM supremo Assaduddin Owaisi on Sunday arrived at Futura Sharif in Bengal''s Hooghly district and held discussions on the state's political scenario and strategies for the upcoming assembly polls with prominent Islamic preacher Abbas Siddiqui Furfura.
Sensing a political opportunity in Bengal, Owaisi has been silently working consolidating support in few pockets of state where the Muslim population is high.
After meeting Abbas Siddique Furfura, Owaisi said that his party would stand by him in the times to come. “Whatever decision Abbas Siddique takes the AIMIM will stand by him,” he said.
"Owaisi wanted to keep the meeting a secret as we were apprehensive that the TMC government would stop him from exiting the airport. From Kolkata airport, he went straight to Hooghly to meet Abbas Siddiqui. He will leave for Hyderabad in the afternoon," PTI quoted AIMIM state secretary Zameerul Hassan as saying.
Abbas Siddiqui Furfura, an influential Islamic cleric in Bengal, has already announced his plan to contest the West Bengal assembly elections in 2021. He belongs to the Siddiqui Furfura Sharif Darbar located in Jangipara in Hooghly district. Furfura Sharif is said to hold considerable influence in districts such as Hooghly, Burdwan, Murshidabad and North and South 24 Parganas—which account for 120 of the 294 assembly seats.
Earlier this year, Abbas Siddiqui Furfura courted controversy when a video emerged in which the cleric could be heard saying, “Allah Amar Bharat borshe emon kathin ekta virus dig, ei bharat borshe jano, 10-20-50 koti log more jaye (I pray to Allah that he sends such a deadly virus in India which kills up to 50 crore people)“.
Abbas Siddiqui Furfura announced that he will campaign for a liquor ban, death sentence for rapists and the handing over of Muslim and adivasi properties to the communities.
Abbas Siddique Furfura has been criticizing CM Mamata state government over a host of issues.
“There are four crore Muslims in West Bengal. Mamata should not forget that we can always resurrect the Congress or the CPI(M) from their graves as the secular alternative in West Bengal," he once warned the CM
Muslims in Bengal, who constitute 30 per cent of the population, largely follow either of two religious institutions—the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (which conforms to the Deobandi ideology) and Furfura Sharif.
Muslims have acted as a bulwark of the TMC against its rivals till 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In event of significant division in Muslim vote share, who hold sway in 90 of 294 Assembly seats in the state, Mamata's re-election prospects next year will be jeopardized.
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