KARNATAKA

Forum identifies ‘secular-minded’ candidates

The Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaz, an umbrella organisation of 28 non-political Muslim organisations in the State, has identified “secular-minded” candidates in 222 Assembly constituencies, who are in a position to defeat candidates from “communal” parties in the ensuing elections.

While Congress candidates have been preferred in 202 constituencies, JD(S) candidates have won the nod in 16 other constituencies. The remaining four included two candidates from the Welfare Party of India and one from the Social Democratic Party of India, and an independent.

The Mahaz will communicate its choice of candidates to the public in the respective constituencies as an “advice or suggestion”.

“It is not a fatwa or a diktat,” Syed Tanveer Ahmed, executive committee member of the Mahaz, sought to clarify to The Hindu .

“Committees were formed for each constituency in most cases and members interacted with stakeholders and knowledgeable persons in each constituency before coming up with their recommendations on the candidate,” he said.

The Mahaz has taken feedback from non-Muslim organizations in its exercise, which is aimed at saving secularism and the Constitution, he said.

The appeal will not be restricted to Muslims and the Mahaz has not just considered Muslim issues while selecting the candidate, Mr. Tanveer Ahmed said.

The candidates preferred will be communicated to the people through social media and word of mouth.

“Our representatives will also inform the chosen candidate and explain to them the expectation.” The Mahaz was unable to come to a consensus on the candidates in two constituencies of the State: Narasimharaja in Mysuru and Mulbagal in Kolar.

There was confusion in Mulbagal, where the Congress candidate’s nomination papers were rejected on technical grounds.

In Narasimharaja, where former Minister Tanveer Sait of the Congress is pitted against SDPI’s Abdul Majeed and JD(S) candidate Abdulla alias Abdul Azeez, the members were divided between Mr. Sait and Mr. Majeed, sources in the Mahaz said.

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