The infamous Jai Bheem Jai Meem political slogan engineered by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi seems to be nothing more than a farcical catchphrase as AIMIM party workers on Sunday tried attacking Bhim Army chief Chandrashekar Azad as the political battle to gain the all-important Bulandshahar seat in the UP by-poll reached a new tipping point.
Azad on Sunday claimed that shots were fired at his convoy in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahar. In a tweet, he said that shots were fired when party members were campaigning for Assembly by-polls.
“Opposition parties have been terrified of our candidate in Bulandshahr elections and today’s rally worried them, due to which my convoy was fired at in a cowardly manner. This shows their desperation… they want the atmosphere to be toxic but we will not let this happen, “Chandrashekhar Azad tweeted in Hindi.
बुलन्दशहर के चुनाव में हमारे प्रत्याशी उतारने से विपक्षी पार्टीयां घबरा गई है और आज की रैली ने इनकी नींद उड़ा दी है जिसकी वजह से अभी कायरतापूर्ण तरीके से मेरे काफिले पर गोलियां चलाई गई है। यह इनकी हार की हताशा को दिखाता है ये चाहते है कि माहौल खराब हो लेकिन हम ऐसा नही होने देंगे।
— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) October 25, 2020
However, Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Santosh Kumar Singh has ruled out an attack on Chandra Shekhar Azad’s convoy. SSP Singh said there was information about a mutual conflict between workers affiliated to the candidates of Azad Samaj Party and AIMIM. The police official said reports about an attack on Chandra ShekharAazad’s convoy are yet to be confirmed.
थाना कोतवाली नगर क्षेत्रान्तर्गत AIMIM और आजाद समाज पार्टी के कार्यकर्ताओं के बीच गाली-गलौज/झड़प होने की घटना के संबंध में वरिष्ठ पुलिस अधीक्षक @bulandshahrpol द्वारा दी गई बाइट। @dgpup @UPGovt @Uppolice @PrashantK_IPS90 @adgzonemeerut @igrangemeerut pic.twitter.com/Q9B5topnXa
— Bulandshahr Police (@bulandshahrpol) October 25, 2020
After the attack, Azad’s supporters instantly started demanding Z-category security for their leader and the hashtag #ZSecurityForAzad started trending.
Important message: Pls don't post any instigating content on social media regarding the firings on Chandra Shekhar Aazad. ASP team is in contact with police. #ZSecurityForAzad
— Suraj Kumar Bauddh (@SurajKrBauddh) October 25, 2020
— Bodh Sagar ( Valmiki) (@BodhSagar1) October 25, 2020
Meanwhile, another FIR was lodged by the AIMIM candidate from Bulandshahar, Dilshad Ahmad, where he alleged that he was attacked by unidentified persons and was asked to withdraw from the electoral fray.
Bypolls to the seven assembly seats in the state will be held on November 3 whereas the counting of votes will be held on November 10. The seven assembly seats including Bulandshahr are Naugawan Sadat, Tundla, Bangermau, Ghatampur, Deoria and Malhani.
The by-polls mark the political debut of the Bhim Army which has, till now, remained a quasi-political outfit. AIMIM had also thrown its hat in the ring when at the end of September the party announced that it was going to contest on all 7 seats.
The spirit of bonhomie these two parties often seem to portray whenever the Union Government or the UP government is in the midst of controversy is incomparable. But when the turn came to facing each other on the political turf, both parties started going for each other’s throat, rather instantaneously.
The reason for this animosity is simple–at the end of the day, none of the two parties and their leaders are here for the upliftment of the marginalized group, they claim to represent. The holier-than-thou attitude on display by Azad and Owaisi is just a façade to fool the party workers and rope in the votes from the public.
The ostentatious ‘Jai Bheem Jai Meem’ election chant has been merely reduced to a drab sentence and it looks like the slogan has gone well past its shelf life. With the Bihar elections coming hot, expect these two parties and their workers to go toe-to-toe again as they field their candidates in the hotly contested Assembly elections.