Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, which was given tags like 'vote cutter' and spoiler in the Bihar assembly polls, won five Muslim-dominated seats on Tuesday and said its critics have got a befitting reply from the people.
With the election results on a knife's edge earlier in the day, many thought AIMIM could play a key role in the formation of the next government in case there was a hung assembly, having captured a sizeable number of seats in the state's Seemanchal region, which was being seen as a stronghold of the grand opposition alliance.
The results, however, gave a simple majority to the National Democratic Alliance, according to the Election Commission figures.
AIMIM national spokesperson Asim Waqar had earlier told PTI that a final decision on who AIMIM could back in case of a hung assembly will be taken by Owaisi, but ruled out supporting the BJP, asserting that his party's fight has always been against the saffron party.
Ahead of the polling in the third phase of the polls, the Congress had dubbed the AIMIM as the BJP's 'B-team' and had accused the party of colluding with the BJP.
Congress' Bihar unit chief Madan Mohan Jha had said AIMIM will not have any significant impact on the assembly polls as people will not 'waste' their votes.
Asked about the assertion of the Congress and the Mahagathbandhan calling it a 'vote cutter', Waqar said, "Those calling us that have got a befitting reply and their mouths will now be shut in the future as well."
On whether his party was likely to go with Mahagathbandhan or the NDA, he said, "The decision will be taken by Asad (Owaisi) sahab, but the reality is that our fight is against the BJP and for the country.
"So the BJP and its alliance do not appear anywhere in our list."
Expressing happiness over the AIMIM's performance, he said the party workers were expecting such a result as they had toiled hard on the ground for the last five years.
As per the latest results, the AIMIM won from Amour, Kochadhaman, Jokihat, Bahadurganj and Baisi.
Owaisi-led AIMIM seems to have cut big time into the Mahagathbandhan vote in the Seemanchal region in the third phase of the polls.
The AIMIM was in the fray for 20 seats in Bihar polls, a majority of which went to polls in the third phase on November 7, as part of the Grand Democratic Secular Front that has four other parties, including Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.