Patna, PTI: Senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar on Thursday came out with the candid admission that his party, on account of its dismal performance in the Bihar assembly elections, emerged as the weak link preventing the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) from forming its government in the state.
He also expressed worry over entry of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Bihar.
Anwar, an AICC general secretary, came out with a flurry of tweets calling for "urgent and deep introspection" over the debacle of the party, the second largest constituent of the opposition coalition, which contested as many as 70 seats but returned with a tally of just 19.
"We must accept the truth. Because of the poor performance of the Congress, Bihar has been deprived of a Mahagathbandhan government. The Congress must introspect as to where it faltered. Also, the entry of AIMIM in Bihar is not a good sign," Anwar tweeted.
Talking to PTI, Anwar, who had been a multiple term MP from Katihar in the state, added, "The Congress is opposed to communalism in all forms. The AIMIM seeks to mobilize support of Muslims in much the same way as the BJP does in case of Hindus. Both would feed on each other." "This is not good for the society at large. The AIMIM has made inroads in the densely populated Kosi Seemanchal region which has a high concentration of Muslims, and always been known for social harmony," he added.
The Hyderabad MP's party has returned with a tally of five seats, less than a year after registering its first victory in the state in a by-election.
Anwar said, "The BJP-led NDA has managed to win the elections yen ken prakaren (adopting all measures, fair and foul) but Bihar has lost. Bihar wanted change. It wanted deliverance from the woes brought about by an incompetent government in the last 15 years." Anwar, who was a member of the campaign committee set up by the Congress for the assembly polls, also took a dig at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) has witnessed a sharp decline in its tally compared to what it was five years ago, and now has far fewer seats than the BJP.
The JD(U) had won 71 seats in 2015 when it was a partner in the Grand Alliance which included Lalu Prasad's RJD and the Congress. This time it has only 43 MLAs against the saffron partys 71.