Patna: RJD chief Lalu Prasad and its national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh are at loggerheads on the issue of inviting Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) to join the grand secular alliance for Bihar assembly polls to counter the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Trouble in Lalu’s party began on Tuesday after Singh told the media that he would try to bring Owaisi in the grand alliance to check the possible split of secular votes in Bihar. Singh also said Owaisi is a secular leader and anti-BJP forces would be benefited after his joining the secular formation.
Soon after Singh’s statement was telecast by the electronic media, Lalu said there was no place for a leader like Owaisi in their “secular and progressive” grand alliance.
“Hardliner (kattarpanthi) leader of any religion has no place in our ‘progressive and secular’ grand alliance, which is committed to development, justice and secularism,” Lalu Prasad said in a message on twitter.
Lalu’s tweet, in fact, cleared the confusion prevailing among some senior RJD leaders. Soon after Lalu’s tweet, RJD’s legislature party leader in Bihar assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui said every party, including AIMIM of Hyderabad MP Owaisi, had the right to contest election in Bihar and no one could stop the organization from fielding its candidates.
“But, Bihar election is strictly between the NDA and the grand secular alliance and no other party or individual would get any support from anywhere,” Siddiqui said, in an apparent comment on Owaisi that he would not be able to cut much ice with Muslims in the Seemanchal area from where the AIMIM has planned to contest 24 seats.
Another Muslim face in RJD Illiyas Hussain said, “Voters in Bihar are very enlightened and politically conscious. They will not make any mistake which would benefit communal forces in the state.”
But Singh said he was firm on his view and reiterated that inclusion of Owaisi’s party in the secular alliance would strengthen the JD(U)-RJD-Congress-JMM combine in Bihar.