Bengal to get Muslim-Dalit-Adivasi party
KOLKATA: Abbas Siddiqui, a pirzada of Hooghly’s Furfura Sharif, is set to announce his new outfit of Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis on January 21, giving a new dimension to identity politics in West Bengal.
“I am going to launch the new outfit on January 21. This outfit will be a platform for Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis in Bengal. Many Adivasi and Dalit representatives came to me in the last few months. Leaders of mainstream political parties also came to me for talks. For the moment, we are aiming to contest 60-80 seats in the assembly elections,” Siddiqui said.
The Furfura cleric got a boost when All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi came to his place a fortnight ago and promised to work with him. Since then, Siddiqui had been floating the prospect of launching a new party at religious jalsas held in rural North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.
Speaking in one such jalsa at Kadambagachi in North 24 Parganas, Siddiqui rubbished the charge he was an Owaisi clone and was jumping into the fray to make things easy for BJP by dividing minority votes that went in favour of Trinamool Congress. “I was not in politics during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. BJP got 18 seats in Bengal. How could the party get so many seats when Trinamool is in power in Bengal? We didn’t see BJP making inroads in the state during Left Front rule. We have been betrayed by the party (Trinamool) that we voted for to keep BJP at bay,” Siddiqui said.
A religious cleric, Siddiqui has no intention of contesting elections. “I want some prominent Muslim, Adivasi, Dalit representatives to contest the polls to represent voice of the oppressed. They didn’t get a trusted voice in Bengal for the last 73 years. We want these men to develop their assembly constituencies into model constituencies. I have been told that former Trinamool MP Akbar Ali Khondekar once tried it in his own way,” he said.
Asked if he had had talks with Trinamool leaders, Siddiqui said: “We submitted our charter of demands to Trinamool link persons. But we didn’t get a reply. Others have also contacted us. But nothing has matured till date. We are floating our own outfit. Let us see how things shape up.”
Courtesy : TNN