Owaisi visits Furfura Sharif in Bengal, announces political tie-up

We will stand by whatever decision peerzada Abbas Siddique takes, says AIMIM chief

January 03, 2021 01:38 pm | Updated 08:08 pm IST - Kolkata:

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. File

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. File

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday visited Furfura Sharif, a prominent religious shrine of Bengali Muslims in Hooghly district.

Mr. Owasi met Abbas Siddique, peerzada and secretary of the Furfura Sharif, and said his party would stand by him in the times to come. “Whatever decision Abbas Siddique takes, the AIMIM will stand by him,” he said.

Announcing the political tie-up, the AIMIM chief showered praise on Mr. Siddique describing him the guiding light of the Furfura Sharif. “I realised that if I have to make the Majlis flag strong, I have to pay obeisance to the Furfura Sharif,” he said.

The development adds a twist to the poll-bound political situation as the tie-up may emerge a threat to the opponents of the BJP, particularly the ruling Trinamool Congress. In fact, the meeting is the first instance of coming together of Urdu speaking and Bengali speaking Muslims and may pave way for setting up a Muslim front ahead of the Assembly polls. Later in the day, Mr. Siddique said he is setting a front of several groups including the AIMIM.

More support base

Of late, Mr. Siddique has been giving hints that he is keen on testing the political waters. In terms of physical connect, he has more support base than the AIMIM which has never contested polls in the State. The meeting, which comes months before the Assembly polls, assumes a lot of significance. The State has 27.01% minority population as per the last census conducted in 2011. The minorities have been overwhelmingly supporting the Trinamool Congress since 2011.

The Trinamool leadership said such developments did not pose any challenge to it as Muslims were firmly behind Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Its Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy said Mr. Owasi was well aware that he could not be a factor as Urdu speaking Muslims were not in significant numbers. “His visit to Furfura Sharif is a new thing but it is of no concern to us.” He said people were aware that the AIMIM would only help the BJP by dividing the Muslim votes.

Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim said those from Hyderabad are only trying to strengthen the communal forces.

The BJP leadership said the development may be a worry for the Trinamool Congress but does not affect the party. “The Chief Minister may be worried but the BJP has no worries… Those who indulge in politics of appeasement, who thought the Muslim vote their own private property, they are the ones who are feeling threatened today,” said president of State BJP Dilip Ghosh.

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