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Mamata created the Hindu-Muslim divide, did more harm than good to Muslims: Abbas Siddiqui | India News

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CALCUTTA: Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, the influential cleric of the Muslim shrine Furfura Sharif, who has muddied the political waters of West Bengal with the launch of the Indian Secular Front (ISF), feels that the government of Mamata Banerjee has done more harm than good to the Muslims by creating a Hindu-Muslim divide.
The 34-year-old cleric is trying to forge an alliance with the congressional-CPM combination and also Hyderabad AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi ahead of the assembly elections after the TMC turned its back on him.
Siqqiqui claims that his newly launched political team will prove to be the ‘King Maker’ in the state which has roughly 30 percent Muslim voters.
He also rejects as unfounded the accusation that he has decided to jump into the electoral arena to cut off the TMC’s Muslim vote base, assiduously nurtured by Banerjee for the past ten years, and does not hesitate to call the ruling party “communal and vindictive.”
“In the last 10 years, the TMC government has only misled Muslims and Dalits. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has done nothing for them. She has only created the perception that this government is doing a lot for the Muslim community. just to serve their political interests, “he said in an interview with PTI.
Siddiqui said that the perception of “Muslim appeasement” has led to a rift between Hindus and Muslims.
“The BJP worked overtime to exploit it and summarize that Muslims are getting everything at the expense of Hindus. Mamata Banerjee has done Muslims more harm than good by creating this perception,” he said.
Speaking of the alliances his team wants to forge ahead of the assembly elections likely to be held between April and May, Siddiqui said the prospects for an alliance with the TMC are quite “slim.”
“We had proposed a Grand Alliance of all parties, including the TMC, to fight the BJP. But our proposal did not get any response from the TMC. So now the chances are very slim,” he said.
Siddiqui alleged that after his announcement about contesting the elections, the state government has started harassing ISF supporters by implicating them in bogus cases.
“They (TMC) will get an adequate response for their arrogance,” he said.
However, he feels that the chances of forging alliances with the Congress-Left and AIMIM combination are bright.
Siddiqui said his organization’s doors are open to everyone except the TMC and the BJP.
“We are also in talks with AIMIM. Owaisi Saab told me that they will follow us because we know Bengal better,” said Siddiqui, who his followers affectionately call Bhaijaan (older brother).
Following AIMIM’s impressive performance in the recent assembly elections in Bihar, where its candidates won five seats from the Seemanchal region, Owaisi has stated that his party will also contest the West Bengal assembly elections. He has visited West Bengal several times and has also held parliaments with Siqqiqui.
After meeting Siddiqui earlier this month, Owaisi had said that AIMIM and ISF will work together in the state.
“We will work behind him and support any decision he makes,” Owaisi had said.
Abbas Siddiqui rejected suggestions that his team will be a BJP B-team, an accusation also made by Mamata Banerjee against Owai’s match.
“We are here not only to seek Muslim votes, but also back votes from the community. If the TMC had worked for minorities, it would not have been necessary for us to enter the fray. Everyone has the right to fight in elections in a democracy, “Siddiqui said.
Owaisi was accused of having acted as a BJP team after the NDA achieved a minimal victory over the RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar. Muslims and the backward form the cornerstone of the RJD’s base of support, and a split in minority votes was seen as a reason for the defeat of the opposition alliance.
Siddiqui, the first prominent religious figure to enter electoral politics in West Bengal, said that no one wants Muslims to take a leadership role.
“It is because I am a Muslim that you are raising the question of vote division. You would not have asked this question if a Hindu had invented a new political team,” he said.
Although Siddiqui was evasive about the number of seats his team will play, he said: “Whatever the number, he will emerge as the kingmaker after the polls.”
He also accused Banerjee of paving the way for the rise of the BJP in the state and now playing the “victim card.”
“Mamata Banerjee aligned herself with the BJP in 1998. She was in alliance with the BJP until 2006 and was also a Union Minister. She was the first leader to bring up the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh in 2005. The BJP did. is doing now. This shows the true colors of people who question our credibility, “he said.
When asked to comment on the incident when the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was raised at the Victoria Memorial during Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary celebrations, Siddiqui said Mamata Banerjee should have ignored it.
“By reacting the way she did, Mamata Banerjee just publicized the slogan. Everything seemed organized by her,” he said.
He also accused the TMC of trying to “mislead” the minority community with its vociferous opposition to the CAA and the NRC.
“They (the TMC) just want to project themselves as the savior of Muslims,” ​​he said.
Muslims, who comprise about 30 percent of the state’s population, are believed to influence the outcome of elections in 100-110 of the 294 seats in the state assembly, and have acted as a bulwark for the party of Bannerjee against any attempt to tamper with your apple cart.
However, there are fears that a split in Muslim votes due to the presence of parties led by community leaders could affect his bid for a third consecutive term in office.

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