They fear that political representation from the community will go down further post bifurcation

The Muslims who amount to about 2.5 lakh of the total 12 lakh population in the city are a miffed lot. They are disappointed with the way the political parties have allotted seats to the ticket hopefuls, be it in the local body elections or the Assembly segments.

Deprived of Justice

Airing their disappointment to The Hindu, a few seniors from the community say that the political parties had been turning a cold shoulder to their views. “Just before elections, they try to appease us with a variety of enticing slogans, but in reality we are being deprived of justice, be it political or economical,” says P.S. Abdullah, former Chief Engineer of the Oil India.

They feel that injustice has been meted out to them when it comes to the entire State, but more so it is done at the local level. According to Habib-ur-Rehaman of the Muslim United Front, the city has about one lakh muslim voters . “Considering this fact, each party should have allotted at least 10 seats to Muslim candidates in the upcoming civic polls. But, the number hovers around four to five per party,” he said.

‘Have lost MIM support’

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation has 59 divisions and the concentration of Muslims is high in certain divisions such as 6, 10, 17, 20, 24, 27, 33, 36, 37, 40, 49 and 54. “If we can’t represent us politically, who would hear our voice? It would be even more difficult after the bifurcation as we had six to seven MLAs from the MIM voicing our concern. Post bifurcation, we have lost their support too,” said Mr. Habib.

When it comes to the Assembly segments in the city, they feel that apart from Vijayawada East segment, they should have a representation from Penamuluru. Each of the segments has around 50,000 Muslim voters.

Mr. Abdullah feels that post bifurcation, the Muslim representation in the Assembly of the residuary State AP would drastically fall. “Apart from Hyderabad, where the MIM has a strong presence, there is hardly any representation from the community expect for a few pockets such as Guntur, Visakhapatnam (South) and Vijayawada (West). We are even ignored from places such as Nellore, Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool, where we have sizeable population close to 30 per cent,” said Mr. Habib.

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