Politics News

Spoiler for SP, Success for Saffron: With Zero Win in UP, Owaisi’s AIMIM Ensured BJP Sweep in at Least 7 Seats

Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) performance in Uttar Pradesh elections is being considered as a big failure. The party managed to bag just 4.51 lakh or 0.49% of votes in the country’s largest state with 15.02 crore voters.

The Hyderabad-based party contested on 95 seats but failed to win any of the seats in the state. Apart from Mubarakpur seat in Azamgarh district, AIMIM candidates lost their deposits in all of the seats the party contested. In Mubarakpur seat the party had fielded two-term sitting BSP MLA Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali who joined AIMIM in November last year.

However, a closer look at poll data shows that even in its loss, the party successfully damaged Samajwadi Party-led alliance candidates’ prospects in at least 7 seats and came closer to mar the Akhilesh-led party’s chances in few others. In a way even though it scored a duck, it succeeded in dividing Muslim votes in as many as seven seats.

For instance, in the Moradabad Nagar seat where BJP candidate Ritesh Kumar Gupta secured 148,384 votes and won by a slender margin of 782 votes against SP’s Mohammad Yusuf Ansari. AIMIM Waqi Rasheed secured 2,661 votes in the constituency.

Owaisi’s AIMIM managed to hurt Samajwadi Party’s prospect in over 7 seats.

All the major opposition contestant against BJP’s Gupta were from Muslim community. Had the Muslim votes not divided it would have been almost impossible for BJP’s candidate to win the seat. BSP candidate Irshad Hussain got 14,013 votes while Congress’ Rizwan Quereshi cornered 5,351 votes.

In the Kursi Assembly seat of Barabanki, sitting BJP MLA Sakendra Pratap Verma’s victory margin against SP’s Rakesh Kumar Verma was just 217 votes. Had AIMIM’s Kumail Ashraf Khan not cut 8,541 mostly Muslims and anti-BJP votes, the story is the seat would have been different.

Dr. Dharam Singh Saini of the SP lost against BJP’s Mukesh Chaudhary from Saharanpur’s Nakur seat by a margin of 315 votes. Here, Rizwana of the AIMIM secured 3,593 votes.

In Jaunpur’s Shahganj seat, SP’s Shailendra Yadav Lalai lost by a margin of 719 votes. Here too AIMIM candidate Nayab Ahmad Khan captured 8,128 votes. Congress too had fielded a Muslim candidate from the seat who secured 1,529 votes.

AIMIM’s Mirja Akram Beg from Sultanpur Sadar seat got 5,251 votes. The victory margin of BJP candidate Vinod Singh over Anoop Sanda of the SP was 1,009 votes.

BJP’s sitting MLA Dinanth Bhaskar in Bhadohi’s Aurai reserved seat secured 93,691 votes and defeated Anjani Saroj of the SP by a thin margin of 1,647 votes. Tedhai, the AIMIM candidate got 2,190 votes here.

In the Bijnor seat, the victory margin of BJP candidate Suchi over RLD’s Neeraj Chaudhary stood at 1,445 votes. Munir Ahmad of Owaisi’s party got 2,290 votes here.

In some of the other seats AIMIM candidates scared SP nominees. A case in point is Sultanpur’s Isauli seat where AIMIM candidate got 3,308 while the victory margin of the SP candidate against BJP’s candidate was just 269 votes. A slightly better performance by Owaisi’s candidate would have ended the SP candidate’s chance here.

Raniganj seat in Pratapgarh district elected SP candidate Rakesh Kumar Verma by a margin of 2,649 votes. However, AIMIM’s Anil Kumar too secured 11,748 votes here and any better performance here could have come at the cost of SP’s Muslim votes.

Similar story played out in Ram Nagar and Domariyaganj seats where a slightly improved performance by AIMIM candidates would have dented SP’s victory chances from these seats.

In Bijnor’s Dhampur seat it was the Congress Muslim candidate who spoilt SP’s change. BJP candidate from the seat Ashok Kumar Rana made a record by winning the poll by the slimmest margin of 203 votes against Naim Ul Hasan of the SP here. Congress candidate from the seat Hussain Ahmad got just 790 votes but he succeeded in dividing the Muslim votes resulting into BJP’s victory.

Another silver lining for the Hyderabad-based party was that it performed much better than the Congress party in the seats it contested. In the 95 seats where both the parties were contesting, AIMIM candidates scored over Congress nominees in 58 seats; In just 36 seats Congress candidates remained ahead of Owaisi’s candidates.

Overall, in these 95 seats, Congress got 3,13,577 votes while AIMIM secured 4,50,929 votes i.e. 1,38,533 or 44% more votes than the Grand Old Party.

Besides, the Party also slightly improved its performance from the last assembly polls when it had secured a little over two lakh votes with 0.24% share. This time around it has raised its vote share to 0.49%.

The Party founded in 1920 has of late started making electoral moves outside its home base Hyderabad and has a mixed success. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls it won the Aurangabad seat in Maharashtra, its first seat outside Hyderabad. Later in the state assembly polls it retained two seats.

In 2020, it won 5 assembly seats in Bihar. However, the party could not do much in the assembly polls held last year in Bengal or Tamil Nadu.

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