Does Owaisi’s election strategy help BJP? An analysis


Asif Moazzam for

Era of Identity politics


We are heading in an era where Identity has become an important phenomenon in the modern politics. Identity politics gained legitimacy in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States and Identity Politics has become a prominent subject in the Indian politics in the past few decades. The rise of low castes, religious identities, linguistic groups and ethnic conflicts has contributed to the significance of identity politics in India. Experts say Identity politics and Caste Identity Politics is the result of numerous aspects of oppression and powerlessness. The emergence of regional parties and caste-based leaders followed hugely by their caste members is a testimony to it. Owaisi is no exception.

Did Owaisi really help BJP?

In Bihar Assembly election, AIMIM contested only in Seemanchal area hoping to win seats there since it is a Muslim dominated area. Had it nursed the intention of helping BJP, it would have contested in a maximum of areas. In Assam, BJP+ AGP+ BPF alliance got 41.9 % of vote share while Congress got 31% and AIUDF 13% of the total vote. Congress and AIUDF put together amount to 43%. Congress didn’t form an alliance with AIUDF and was reduced from 79 to 26 seats. So-called secular party like Congress could afford to see BJP in power and lived through its humiliating defeat, but couldn’t afford to see Badruddin Ajmal in power. When Kejriwal launched AAP and contested Delhi election, no one shouted his coming into the fray will help divide secular votes and help BJP electorally. In Maharashtra Assembly election, there were as many as 12 parties in the field excluding independent candidates. Muslims constitute around 11.5% of Maharashtra population and AIMIM secured only 0.9% of the total votes. More than 10% of Muslim votes went to other parties by choice, even then some allege that AIMIM divided Muslim votes and helped BJP win in Maharashtra.

In West Bengal, NDA contested 294 seats, won 6 seats securing 10.7% of total votes and witnessed a vote swing of 5.92%. This is true that BJP was not a key party in West Bengal, but didn’t it have any dream there? If Owaisi’s electoral strategy really meant to help BJP, couldn’t AIMIM presence help the latter in West Bengal where Muslims are around 27%? The larger question is that should Owaisi withdraw from all such states where BJP is in the fight, in order to prove that AIMIM is not BJP B-Team. In near future, if BJP will be in a position to contest heavily in all the states, should Owaisi bar his party from contesting any election to prove his secularism?

Muslim vote bank in UP

Muslims don’t vote en bloc. Muslim support for the SP, BSP, and Congress fluctuates across sub-regions of the state. In 2007, the SP led all other parties across the state, while in 2012 the party’s support base among Muslims seemed to have declined in Rohilkhand and Purvanchal. The BSP, on the other hand, gains more Muslim support from Avadh, Rohilkhand, and Purvanchal than other regions of the state. The Congress draws its Muslim support from Western UP, Rohilkhand, and Doab.

EPW (Economic & Political weekly) published a report by Rahul Verma and Pranav Gupta on 31st Dec 17. The authors traveled to eight districts in Central and Eastern Uttar Pradesh to get a sense of how voters make up their mind about whom to vote for in the upcoming assembly elections in the state in 2017.They concluded that Muslims vote in the same pattern as other communities. ‘…their (Muslims) vote choice is also driven by performance, party preferences, candidates, welfare policies, and leadership among many other things. And any attempt to misrepresent the sensibilities with which Muslims participate in India’s political arena is surely a work of fiction, perhaps biased, and is just a misguided opinion without any credible evidence’

In coming Uttar Pradesh election, all parties including AIMIM are going to get their share. It is inappropriate to say that Muslims in UP are going to vote en bloc and that Owaisi presence is meant to split them to secure BJP a victory.


The author is lecturer at department of English Faculty of Science and Arts University of Bisha, KSA.



  1. Very good article and much eye opener for those who are blaming that Owaisi is helping BJP, understand his political view . He want to create leadership among youth not like other so called secular party who remember Muslim during Eid and elections

  2. Good Analysis Mr. Asif Moazaam sahab, it clears the picture and propaganda of so called secular Muslim leaders, parties and siasat daily that AIMIM is hand-in-glove with BJP.

  3. Now it is confirmed that Siasat newspaper in Hyderabad is the mouth piece of BJP, because siasat always blamed MIM without any study or analysis! Just may be to get some bugs as paid media has became a reality and fashion during thie era.

  4. AIMIM should also enter Gujarat. Since they have a blunt experience , consolidation of vote is possible unlike U.P. where muslims need be clobbered at least once by BJP state wide to get them to senses before consolidation for self respect under a true leadership of the community. They must understand the power of their consolidation under one, n shameful deal from division.

  5. Indian Muslims need more smart, educated and brave leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi if they need to get their rights. Otherwise generations of Indian Muslims will rot in poverty and be nothing but chaiwallahs and cycle-repair wallahs.

  6. Good approach. Muslims, at large, behave like a normal electorate, freely exercising their franchise without any communal bias. We should present out arguments on this line. And you have done exactly the same.

  7. Good analysis AIMIM is hope of muslims in india. It will secure a good position in up in long run. Its presence will force so called secular parties to do something relevant to the muslims.

  8. Considering the pervasive anathema nourished towards the Muslim name (eventually expressed so by none other than the Mumbai Court last week ) like minded Polititical parties ought to :-
    1.Merge into the larger Muslim party under a new secular name for larger n wider attraction for pan india foot print.
    2.Enter media business of print n TV channels for greater educative impact to explain
    their Politics (of Propaganda n Allegations ),
    their History (of oppression n riots), their Administration (of prejudice see Sachar Committee Report etc ), n our Rights (Constitutional ),
    Laws (CrPC, IPC, RTI ).
    God refrains from helping those (Qoum) that do not help themselves (consolidate)

  9. Good analysis, exactly AIMIM will win more of seats in UP ,So other parties try to blame as B-team of BJP. But reality is that AIMIM always against of BJP. Muslim of UP should give a chance to Owaisi . it is clear that AIMIM is more good than other so called muslim supporter party including SP n Cong..

  10. Good article based on free and fair analysis.thanks.real problem is that political parties of india do not want emergence of any muslim leadership in india.In this regard both,so called secular or so called nationalist parties including congress,SP, BSP,BJP,JDU.RJD.are eqquel Reality is that till now all parties have cheated muslims.So the RAAG of secular or non secular is worthless nowadays.

  11. My observation is from India, 1937-1962, and among Indians, from 1962-now, in both former USSR and USA. I think the word “Muslim” in the name itself is not a draw anywhere these days, not to talk of RSS/BJP-controlled New Delhi. It should be taken out. The other dangerous word in the name itself is “ittehad”. It smells more of “problems” than solution. It should be replaced positively. Let the Owaisis think in terms of entire India, as a whole, not just Telangana, Hyderabad, and Andhra Pradesh. During the past 55 years, I would be a liar, if I posted that AIMIM meets my aspirations in its present philosophy. Had the organization been a good listener and reader of my earlier posts on the issue, they would have “walked the talk”, not only, “talk the talk”. Adopt a more universal name.

    • Your analysis is truly justifying. I had a very harsh debate couple of years ago in Siasat forum for the same issue of party’s title, “AIMIM”.
      Although, it could not collect more than 1% of votes, but causes fear in other communities resulting in bulk voting without much effort.
      What if the same people contest with any secular name like AAP?
      The author has compared AIMIM with AAP, while there’s no comparison between them.
      Where’s AAP having scored earlier 28/70 in the very first attempt within few months party age. Then swept the whole assembly after another few months by scoring 67/70.
      On the other hand AIMIM reached merely seven seats in home state, that too old city only, despite decades decades of their political presence.

  12. No so good analyzed article, since it has not evaluated the impact of the non secular title over the non Muslim communities.
    While Muslims consider BJP a non secular or Hindu party despite its secular title and unite their votes against. Then why not Hindus too unite their votes on clearly displaying ittehad of Muslimeen?
    It means there’s no importance to the development and justice for Indians.
    This kind of thinking would cause Indians to 50 years backward after every election.


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