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Mayawati’s open support to BJP spells setback for grand secular democratic front in Bihar

PATNA: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s announcement that her party could support the BJP in the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh has spelt a setback to the grand secular democratic front (GSDF) in Bihar forged by the RLSP, BSP and AIMIM with Upendra Kushwaha as its chief ministerial face.

The RLSP is contesting 104 seats, BSP 80 seats, AIMIM 24 seats and others 40 seats. The 24 seats being contested by the AIMIM are all in the Seemanchal region, where Muslims have a sizeable population. It was one of the regions where the RJD-led opposition alliance was fearing a division of vote in minorities because of Owaisi’s party.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has been extensively campaigning in Bihar for the past few days and addressing two-three rallies every day. AIMIM had won one seat in Kishanganj in the by-elections in 2019. With an opening in Bihar, Owaisi was hoping to become a player in the state politics, especially in Seemanchal.

However, with the BSP’s stand in UP, there is a sigh of relief in the opposition alliance camp. The Congress lapped up the opportunity to attack Owaisi, calling him the C-team of the BJP.

“Whenever Modi ji is in trouble, Mr Owasis comes to his rescue,” Randeep Surjewala, Congress in-charge of Bihar election, told ET. “Why is it that Owaisi is only attacking the Congress and RJD. They never attack the BJP and Nitish Kumar even if they are in the government. It is clear that Chirag Paswan is the B-team and Owaisi is the C-team of the BJP.”

In 2015, AIMIM had contested six seats in Seemanchal and got eight per cent votes in these seats. In the 2019 bypolls for Kishanganj seat, AIMIM candidate Qamrul Hoda had defeated the BJP’s Sweety Singh.

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