Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday alleged that the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul- Muslimeen (AIMIM) is contesting Bihar assembly elections to hurt the Congress-RJD alliance on the directions of the BJP.
Owaisi's AIMIM has allied with Samajwadi Janata dal (SJD) of former union minister Devendra Prasad Yadav to contest the Bihar polls and will field candidates in Muslim-dominated constituencies of Seemanchal region.
Sharing a report on AIMIM's decision to join the alliance of Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Janvadi Party (Socialist), Singh said, "Owaisi is contesting Bihar elections on the directions of the BJP to hurt RJD-Congress alliance. I have been proved right again. BJP and Owaisi are two sides of the same coin."
Earlier on Tuesday, Owaisi had blamed the RJD for the rise of the BJP in Bihar, and dismissed suggestions that his party was in the election arena in the state to split secular votes and help the saffron party.
He also hit out at the Congress, an ally of the RJD, castigating it for contesting the Maharashtra assembly elections together with his AIMIM but later joining hands with the Shiv Sena, "the demolishers of the Babri mosque", and forming a coalition government in the western state.
"Congress shall not teach us secularism," the Hyderabad MP was quoted as saying by PTI.
"How was my party responsible for the RJD's complete rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in a state the party calls its 'garh' (fort)?" he asked.
"What happened to these so-called 'thekedar' (contractors) of anti-BJP votes in the 2019 general elections?" he asked, while scoffing at the RJD-Congress alliance that claims to be pro-minority and secular.
"I fail to understand on what basis they claim sole ownership of Muslim votes in Bihar," he said.
The grand alliance led by the RJD and comprising the Congress and some smaller parties was drubbed in the last Lok Sabha election with just the Congress managing to open its account by clinching the Kishanganj seat on Bihar-West Bengal border which has substantial presence of Muslim voters.
It was for the first time since its launch that the RJD had drawn a blank.
The AIMIM, considered a carpetbagger in Bihar until recently, won the Muslim-dominated Kishanganj assembly seat in a byelection earlier this year. It now looks forward to increasing its footprint in Bihar where Muslims have largely voted for Lalu Prasad's RJD for many years.
In the outgoing assembly, RJD was the largest party with 73 MLAs followed by JD(U) 69, BJP (54), Congress (23), CPI-ML (3), LJP (2), HAM and AIMIM of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi one each and Independent (5). A total of 12 seats are vacant.
(With PTI inputs)