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Updated: May 29, 2014 00:13 IST

Fall in Muslim representation in Cabinet sets MIM thinking

J. S. Ifthekhar
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Asaduddin Owaisi , MP from Hyderabad --PHOTO: P_V_SIVAKUMAR
The Hindu
Asaduddin Owaisi , MP from Hyderabad --PHOTO: P_V_SIVAKUMAR

Party to redraft the electoral strategy. The election results are an eye-opener in that they clearly showed how the ‘secular parties’ had failed to transfer their votes to Muslim candidates while the community plumped for these parties religiously.

The sharp fall in Muslim representation in the Parliament has set the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen thinking. The party feels there is an urgent need for the community to emerge as an independent political entity at the national level. “The community should do serious introspection on this. The Majlis is ready to support any initiative in this direction,” says Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi.

The Majlis leader feels the decline in Muslim MPs’ strength doesn’t auger well. Not a single Muslim MP got elected from Uttar Pradesh and in the entire south just four Muslims were elected. “Is India heading towards majoritarian form of democracy,” he asks.

The election results are an eye-opener in that they clearly showed how the ‘secular parties’ had failed to transfer their votes to Muslim candidates while the community plumped for these parties religiously. Parties like Congress, SP, NCP did not succeed in transferring their votes to Muslim contestants with the result the BJP gained wherever Muslim population was more than 15 per cent, he reasons.

“It’s a pity that the BJP could not ensure success of its lone Muslim face, Shahnawaz Hussain,” he feels.

He, however, gave credit to the Trinamool Congress leader, Mamata Benerjee, for bucking the trend and sending eight Muslim MPs from West Bengal.

The Hyderabad MP favours redrafting of the electoral strategy by Muslims. He wants the community to support the Majlis or the Muslim League at the national level so as to avoid dispersion of Muslim votes.

“If 23 Muslim MPs have been elected it is solely due to the community support. Other parties have no role in their election,” remarks Mr. Asaduddin.

He strongly protests the remarks of Minority Affairs Minister, Najma Heptulla, ruling out reservations to Muslims and the move to stop benefits under the Sachar Committee report. But he doesn’t want to jump to conclusions. “Let’s wait and watch. I want them to disprove me,” is all that the Majlis leader would say about the new dispensation.

While welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to forge friendly relations with neighbouring countries, the Majlis leader wants him to invite the Hamas leaders also as India had always extended solidarity to the Palestinian cause.

Mr. Asaduddin plans to meet the TDP leader, N. Chandrababu Naidu, after he takes oath as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to discuss minority issues in the State.

The Majlis will seek allocation of at least Rs. 1,000 crore budget for minority welfare. The other demands include effective implementation of Urdu as second official language, housing, education and setting up of skill development centres in Anantapur, Hindupur and Kadapa districts.

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