Abbas Siddiqui’s increasing fan following in Bengal worries Mamata Banerjee, BJP cheers from sidelines
In the upcoming assembly elections, Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee is not only worried about combatting the Hindutva wave sparked by the Bhartiya Janta Party but also to beat the increasing popularity of the young leader Abbas Siddiqui among the region’s Muslim population.
Siddiqui, who is a member of Ahle Sunnatul Jamaat, an Islamic sect in Hooghly district, has been placed on the state election’s centre stage by Left-Congress alliance.
The 28-years-old youth leader’s increasing fan following has become a major concern for the ruling TMC. Mamta’s party fears that his presence in the region might cut TMC votes. leading to the party’s demise after staying in power since 2011.
Siddiqui, like his father, Ali Akbar Siddiqui, took Islamic ‘siksha’ and studied from Tentulia Madrasa in the North 24 Parganas district.
Siddiqui, a key presentative of the Indian Secular Front (ISF), said that the alliance with Left-Congress was not communal in nature and included representatives from the Dalit and tribal communities, as well as the Left.
He said, “It (ISF) is not based on religious lines. We are mainly committed to the welfare of Dalits, minorities, and the tribal community. This is the reason why the Left Front and Congress agreed to consider us as an alliance partner.”
BJP has been cheering over Siddiqui’s presence from the sidelines as the Hindu nationalist party hopes that the young ISF leader would not only take away a significant portion of the Muslim voters from TMC but also put the party behind in the election race.
BJP also mocked the ISF alliance and questioned Left, how it could call itself secular after joining hands with the Pirzada. BJP even said that Left was “siding” with the Muslim League during the pre-Partition communal violence.
As per the 2011 consensus, 27% of the state’s population comprises Muslims. Well aware of the significant division in the Muslim vote, which could turntable in the upcoming elections, has been troubling Bengal CM.