Asaduddin Owaisi’s Foray Into Western UP Intensifies Challenges For Opposition Alliance Ahead Of 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

Asaduddin Owaisi’s Foray Into Western UP Intensifies Challenges For Opposition Alliance Ahead Of 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

With the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls on the horizon, focus shifts to the 26 percent Muslim electorate in Western UP, wielding significant influence in more than 30 percent of the voters across 21 constituencies.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 07:40 PM IST
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AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi | X/@aimim_national

Lucknow: The recent cross-voting by seven Samajwadi Party MLAs during the Rajya Sabha elections has stirred political dynamics in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Western UP, where All India Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi's announcement to contest 21 Lok Sabha seats has added a new dimension to the electoral landscape.

With the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls on the horizon, focus shifts to the 26 percent Muslim electorate in Western UP, wielding significant influence in more than 30 percent of the voters across 21 constituencies. Owaisi's decision to enter the fray poses a formidable challenge to the stability of the SP-Congress coalition.

AIMIM spokesperson Mohammad Farhan has pressed for five seats from the opposition alliance INDIA, cautioning of fielding candidates in 25 constituencies should their demand be unmet. The party underscores the potential ramifications of seat denial, heightening speculations over Owaisi's candidacy in Muslim-dominated constituencies like Moradabad or Sambhal.

Drawing parallels to Lord Krishna's plea for five villages for the Pandavas, Farhan stated, "Allocation of five seats by the Samajwadi Party would be favourable. However, failure to do so will have consequences for the INDIA Bloc."

Despite being positioned in the opposition, Owaisi is viewed as a potential disruptor, often accused by rivals of being "BJP's team B." His political aspirations in Uttar Pradesh are underscored by the significant Muslim electorate, particularly in Western UP, where they constitute 26 percent of the population.

Notably, in the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, Uttar Pradesh boasts a Muslim population exceeding 30 percent, with the 2019 elections witnessing 73 percent of Muslim votes aligning with the SP-BSP alliance, while the remaining votes were dispersed among other parties, including the Congress.

Owaisi's strategic participation in the 2017 and 2022 assembly elections underscores his recognition of the importance of Muslim votes in the region.

With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) choosing a solo path in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the SP-Congress forming an alliance, Owaisi aims to exert pressure on Akhilesh Yadav's party for a significant allocation of Lok Sabha seats.

Any independent foray by Owaisi or his party into Uttar Pradesh's political landscape is expected to impact the SP-Congress alliance more profoundly than other political entities. However, the Samajwadi Party has distanced itself from Owaisi, shifting the responsibility to the Congress.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary remarked, "Akhilesh ji had previously stressed that Owaisi's party should negotiate an alliance with the Congress. Owaisi's party hails from Hyderabad. Parties external to Uttar Pradesh should not be included in the INDIA bloc. The decision on this matter lies with the Congress."

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