Two days ahead of the May 5 Assembly elections, heads of the Muslim community made the best use of the Jumma (Friday) congregations in mosques to speak to the congregation on their right to vote.

For the last one month, the religious heads have been giving sermons after every Friday namaaz advising Muslim voters to vote in large numbers in the May 5 Assembly elections. With this Friday being the last one before elections, sermons in mosques across the State were filled with an advice and an appeal to vote.

In the city, similar sermons were given in all the 700 mosques. “Voting is basically using your discretion to choose your representative. It holds importance in Islam also and all Muslims should use the opportunity to choose the right candidate instead of cribbing later that they have no political representation,” Moulana Maqsood Imran Rishadi, Imam of City Jamia Masjid told The Hindu.

“The basic purpose of this campaign is to ensure that there is no proxy voting in the name of our community members, which is the usual case. If we do not vote, there are chances that someone else might vote in our name,” he said.

Mr. Rishadi said the heads of all 700 mosques in the city had been involved in this campaign through their nodal bodies — Jamait-Ul-Ulma, Ah-le-Hadees and Ah-le-Sunnatul Jamait — to carry forward the campaign in the jurisdiction of their mosques.

In the meanwhile, Masood Abdul Khadeer, convener of Karnataka Muslim Muthaida Mahaz, said the appeal was not just for Muslim voters but for voters from all communities.

Mohammed Zahid, member of Al-Kabeer Trust that runs the Jeevanbhima Nagar masjid, said the campaign was not just about educating the community members to vote. “We had also organised to get people enrol their names in the voters list as most names from our area had been deleted,” Mr. Zahid said.

A similar drive was conducted through Masjid-e-Ulmool Hasnain in Indiranagar and the Federation of Masjids of East Zone, he added.

Mr. Khadeer, who recalled how a large number of Muslim voters, especially from Hebbal and Jayanagar, had been denied their right to vote during 2008 elections, said the Mahaz members hoped that the problem would not repeat in the May 5 elections.

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