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Owaisi ties up with firebrand Sufi cleric for West Bengal elections

Posted : January 4, 2021 at 1:27 pm IST by ManaTeluguMovies

HYDERABAD: In what is being seen as a major development ahead of the West Bengal elections, the AIMIM has entered into an alliance with a firebrand cleric from an influential Muslim sufi order of the Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district. On Sunday, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi secretly landed in the State and met with the order’s top leader, Abbas Siddiqui, who has been vocal in his anti-TMC stance, at his residence in Hooghly.

After the meeting he said, “We will back him (Siddiqui), stand by him and act according to his advice and plan.” But it is unclear if Siddiqui will contest the elections under the banner of the AIMIM or will float an outfit of his own. Vocal in his stance against the Bengal government, he had earlier said his outfit would contest from 35-40 seats.

This was Owaisi’s second meeting in relation to the elections. In December 2020, AIMIM leaders of the State had visited Hyderabad, and Owaisi took stock of the situation in context of the polls.Siddiqui’s relatives were also present during Sunday’s discussion. He is a peer (spiritual guide) of the Furfura Sharif, a shrine 50 km from Kolkata. The shrine is considered to be holy among Bengali Muslims and holds vast influence among followers. The outfit’s chief, Peerzada Toha Siddique, is at loggerheads with Abbas Siddiqui.

Toha Siddique, too, may enter the political arena, albeit in a different direction than that of Siddiqui. Political observers are of the opinion that this alliance could spell trouble for the TMC as it is going to split the party’s Muslim vote bank. Until now, minorities have played a major role in buoying the TMC in around 100-110 seats out of the 294 seats in the WB Assembly. An AIMIM part member said the Owaisi has considered WB as the prime location for the expansion of his party, as around 30 per cent of the population is Muslim — of which 24 per cent are Bengalis.


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