Bihar: 4 Out Of 5 AIMIM MLAs Defect To RJD Delivering A Blow To Asaduddin Owaisi’s Pan-India Party Ambitions

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 29, 2022 04:36 PM +05:30 IST
Bihar: 4 Out Of 5 AIMIM MLAs Defect To RJD Delivering A Blow To Asaduddin Owaisi’s Pan-India Party AmbitionsOwaisi’s AIMIM in Seemanchal, Bihar.
Snapshot
  • In a significant political development amid the signs of a deteriorating relationship between ruling coalition partners BJP and JD-U, four out of five MLAs of Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) have joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

    AIMIM bagged five of the 24 seats it contested in the Seemanchal region of Bihar comprising four districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar.

    The defection of four legislators represents a setback to Asaduddin Owaisi who had long been attempting to transform his Hyderabad-centric outfit as pan-India force.

In a significant political development amid the signs of a deteriorating relationship between ruling coalition partners BJP and JD-U, four out of five MLAs of Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) have defected to the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Leader of the opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, brought the four legislators to the state assembly, driving the car himself, and met Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha to inform him about their formal decision to break away from Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM party and merge with the RJD.

The MLAs – Mohd Izhar Arfi, Shahnawaz Alam, Rukanuddin Ahmed and Anzaar Naimi – who joined Yadav's RJD, raised the party's strength to 80 in the 243-strong assembly. Only state unit president and incumbent legislator from Amour assembly seat in Purnea district, Akhtarul Iman, has decided to stick to Owaisi's AIMIM.

The RJD is now the largest party in the Bihar assembly, with three more than the BJP, which shares power with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

In March this year, three MLAs of the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP)- — Misri Lal Yadav, Raju Singh, Swarna Singh —joined the BJP taking the party's strength in the Bihar assembly to 77, overtaking the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which then had 75 MLAs.

Founded by Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahani and drawing support from a section of Mallah (fisherfolk) community,, the VIP party had contested as part of the NDA alliance in 2020 assembly elections and bagged four seats. However, a serious rift emerged between Sahani and BJP in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh election as VIP attempted to chart its independent path.

AIMIM made a splash in the 2020 assembly polls by winning five seats

The defection of four legislators represents a setback to Asaduddin Owaisi, who had long been attempting to transform his Hyderabad-centric outfit into a pan-India force.

AIMIM made a splash in the 2020 assembly polls by winning five seats. It contested in an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and the Janwadi Party-Socialist (JPS).

AIMIM bagged five of the 24 seats it contested in the Seemanchal region of Bihar, comprising four districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar.

Soon after drawing a blank in the 2015 assembly elections in Bihar, Owaisi started identifying and recruiting young and influential people — professionals, school teachers, clerics and business people — from Seemanchal into his party. It paid rich dividends for the party in 2020.

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