A day after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar hinted that All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen is heading for a split in the state, police in neighbouring West Bengal refused to grant its chief Asaduddin Owaisi permission to address a public rally in South Kolkata.
According to reports the AIMIM was to hold a rally in Metia Bruj area of Kolkata, which has a sizeable Muslim population. This region falls under the Diamond Harbour parliamentary constituency represented by Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. This locality is considered as a stronghold of Trinamool Congress.
Incidentally, only a day earlier Bihar chief minister, while speaking in the state Assembly, set the tongues wagging when he talked about the likely split in the state unit of the AIMIM legislative party.
When the leader of the party in the House, Akhtar-ul-Iman, along with his legislators, was staging a walk-out Nitish, while commenting on him, said that the AIMIM leader may soon be left alone.
There are in all five AIMIM MLAs, all from Seemanchal region of Bihar. The West Bengal unit is very much depending on them for the coming Assembly poll.
Nitish didn’t stop there. He rejected Akhtar-ul-Iman’s demand of making Purnea the second capital of Bihar and taunted him that he had reached the third party after RJD and JD-U. He also referred to the meeting of all the five AIMIM MLAs with him on January 28 last.
It needs to be mentioned that all the five MLAs won their election largely on their own popularity and less due to Owaisi factor. Independent political observers are of the view that if the split really takes place in Bihar it would virtually amount to the end of the story in the state as well as in Bengal.