Months ahead of the Assembly election in West Bengal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday (January 3) met a senior Muslim leader Abbas Siddiqui to hold discussions over the current political scenario in the state. Siddiqui is a popular Muslim leader of Furfura Sharif in the Jangipara area of Hooghly district.
Owaisi’s visit to Kolkata grabbed the headlines as it was his first visit to the state following his announcement a few weeks ago that AIMIM will field its candidates in the upcoming Assembly election in West Bengal.
It is to be noted that Siddiqui has been critical of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal and it is expected that he would launch his own political party ahead of the upcoming Assembly poll. Sources said that Owaisi and Siddiqui might have held talks over seat-sharing formula.
Talking to media after meeting Siddiqui, Owaisi said, “We are holding talks with Abbas Siddiqui on whether to contest polls together or on our own. But he (Siddiqui) is elder to us and together we would like to work here.”
Owaisi also slammed the TMC for calling AIMIM the ‘B-team of the BJP’, asserting that these charges are baseless and false.
“Where was Mamata Banerjee when Gujarat was burning? We did not contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Then how come the BJP won 18 seats in Bengal?”, Owaisi asked.
The AIMIM chief said that West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee should introspect and find out why the BJP is able to find a foothold in West Bengal. “The party should analyse why its members are leaving”, referring to the recent defection of senior TMC leaders.
Meanwhile, Owaisi’s meeting with Siddiqui has not gone down well TMC.
“The AIMIM is nothing but a proxy of the BJP. Owaisi is well aware that Muslims here are mostly Bengali-speaking, and won’t support him. He is trying to forge ties with Abbas Siddiqui, but that won’t yield any result. Muslims in Bengal stand firmly by Mamata Banerjee,” senior TMC leader Sougata Roy said.