Abid Rasool Khan, who is eyeing the Secunderabad Parliamentary seat, and is banking on the large number of Muslim and Christian voters in the constituency to see him through

Post-bifurcation, many Telangana Muslim leaders are staking a claim for tickets in the Congress. A.P. State Minorities Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan is one of them. Mr. Khan, who holds a Cabinet rank Minister post, is serious about making his electoral debut.

He is eyeing the Secunderabad Parliamentary seat and if the sitting MP, Anjan Kumar Yadav, is accommodated here, he wants to contest from the Musheerabad Assembly segment. “I have applied for a ticket and it is for the party high command to take a decision,” he says.

Mr. Khan is banking on the large number of Muslim and Christian voters in Secunderabad to see him through. The two communities constitute 40 per cent of the electorate and their support is crucial to tilt the scales. The Musheerabad Assembly segment too has a strong Muslim-Christian presence. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen too is making a serious bid for the Secunderabad seat and is also hoping to enlist the support of the minorities here.

But Mr. Khan thinks he has an edge over the Majlis by virtue of his being a chairman of the Minorities Commission. “I have earned the goodwill of minorities on account of the decisions I have taken,” says Mr. Khan and mentions the support he is getting from the Christian community.

Basically an educationist, Mr. Khan heads the Mannan group of educational institutions. He earlier served as a member of the executive council of Osmania University and the State Haj Committee. The poor political representation to minorities, he feels, is the main reason for the tardy implementation of the programmes meant for their uplift. Benefits of the Prime Minister’s new 15-point programme have reached only 2 to 3 per cent of the population and in some schemes, the benefits have not reached the minorities at all.

“The lack of representation to them at focal positions and their low percentage in the officialdom is the reason,” says Mr. Khan.

He wants political parties to give at least one representation to Muslims from each district. Hyderabad apart, there are several towns in Telangana and Seemandhra which have minority population in the range of 20 to 40 per cent. “To boost confidence levels among minorities, it is imperative to give them proper political representation,” Mr. Khan says.

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