Confined to Hyderabad politics till recently, the party is making a serious attempt to cash in on its electoral gains in Maharashtra for a pan-India presence. In a calculated move to contest from a region having sizable Muslim population, the party is testing the waters ahead of its bigger plans to make inroads in states like Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Akhtarul Iman, the president of MIM's Bihar unit, is confident about the prospects. "I have raised the flag keeping in view the winning chances. We will definitely win the seats which we are going to contest," Iman told reporters.

Muslims constitute 45 percent of over 10 million population of Seemanchal, a backward region comprising four districts and accounting for 24 seats in the 243-member assembly.

The party is looking to build on its electoral gains in Maharashtra, where it won two assembly seats out of 25 it contested in the last year's elections. It came second in two constituencies and third in eight.

Bihar will be the third state, where MIM is aiming to open its account in state legislature. Besides one Lok Sabha seat (Hyderabad), seven assembly seats in the Telangana Assembly, two in Maharashtra, the party also has considerable presence in urban local bodies in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

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