Party chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who had announced earlier that they would make a mark in West Bengal elections, on Tuesday announced party candidates for only seven seats. Mofakkerul Islam (Itahar), Aslokaut Jaman (Jalangi), Nur Mahabub Alam (Sagardighi), Sajjad Hossain (Bharatpur), Maulana Moti-ur-Rahman (Malatipur), Sayeed-ur-Rahman (Ratua) and Danish (Asansol North) would fight the electoral battle on behalf of the party.
These constituencies would be going for polls in the last phase. Sources added that the Muslim population is between 60% and 75% on the seven seats.
The AIMIM had contested from 20 seats in Bihar assembly elections held in 2020 and secured five seats. The party had also entered the fray from 44 seats in Maharashtra assembly elections in 2019 and won two seats.
In West Bengal too, there were expectations that it would field many candidates, especially where the Muslim population and voters are more. AIMIM sources said in 57 assembly constituencies, Muslim voter share is more than 50 per cent and in another 121 segments, Muslim voters are over 30 per cent.
“We have decided to contest only in seven seats after assessing the party strength and where we got strong candidates. Our party does not want to field candidates for name sake or number sake. In these seven constituencies, party cadre have been working tirelessly since 2016,” a senior member of AIMIM told TOI on Tuesday.
There was a speculation that the AIMIM would also join hands with Abbas Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front (ISF), which later tied up with the Congress and the Left to form a bigger alliance without AMIM. While the ISF has fielded candidates in 24 assembly segments, 12 candidates are Hindus and the rest 12 are Muslim candidates.
However, the AIMIM stayed away from the ISF as it has an alliance with Congress. “The new front founder Siddiqui’s uncle is still with the TMC and the ISF’s ideology is different. We don’t want to align with the ISF,” the AIMIM leader added.