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Muslims’ Decisiveness in Telangana

Nearly in one-third of the 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana, Muslims are capable of a playing a decisive role…. But only eight Muslims could enter the assembly in 2018 – 7 from Majlis from Hyderabad and one from TRS from Bodhan in Nizamabad.

Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

Nearly in one-third of the 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana, Muslims are capable of a playing a decisive role. Political pundits opine that it will be a cakewalk for the candidates in whose favour these voters tilt. The 14% population of Muslims has influential position in at least 35 constituencies. Whomsoever they favour, their winning chances will be bright. That’s why political parties are toiling to win their favour.

Among these constituencies, the capital city Hyderabad, Yakutpura, Chandrayangutta, Charminar, Malakpet, Bahadurpura, Nampalli, Karwan, Khairatabad, Sanathnagar, Jubilee Hills, Ambarpet, and Mushirabad have sizable Muslim presence.

Elsewhere in the state, constituencies like Nizamabad Urban, Bodhan, Kamareddy in Nizamabad district; Adilabad and Mudhole in Adilabad district; Karimnagar and Jagtial in  Karimnagar district; Warangal East and Warangal West in Warangal district; Nalgonda in the same district, Mahabubnagar and Narayanpet in Mahabubnagar district; Tandur, Malkajgiri, Maheshwaram and Vikarabad in Rangareddi district are also considered Muslim pockets.

Score Card
But only eight Muslims could enter the assembly in 2018 – 7 from Majlis from Hyderabad and one from TRS from Bodhan in Nizamabad. Even in Hyderabad’s other dominant constituencies like Khairatabd, Amberpet, Murshidabad, Jubilee Hills, Sanathnagar, there was no competent Muslim candidate from two major parties, TRS and Congress. None of the Muslim candidates from other parties or independents who contested the previous assembly election could secure even the third position in the above Muslim areas.

Runner up
Only Mohammed Ali Shabbir of INC, who lost to Gampa Govardhan of TRS with a margin of 4557 votes, secured second position in Kamareddy constituency of Nizamabad district.

Non-serious contenders
In other Muslim dominated constituencies like Adilabad and Mudhole in Adilabad district, Jagtial in Karimnagar district, there was hardly any Muslim in the arena. Waseemuddin Ahmed of less known Bahujan Left Pary was at 12th place, securing 333 (0.2%) in Karimnagar constituency of the same district. In Warangal West, the only Muslim candidate Farukh Ahmed Hasan Mohammad contested as an independent candidate and got 220 votes (0.2%) and stood at 13th position. Similar is the situation in Warangal East where Mohammed Sadik contested as an independent candidate and secured 236 (0.2%) and was 12th in the ladder.

In Nalgonda constituency of the same district three Muslims were in the field – all as independents. Mohammed Majeed secured 1686 votes (0.9%), and stood at 5th position; SK Ebrahim could get only 117 votes (0.1%) and stood at 11th position and Gulam Subhani got just 61 votes and was at 16th position.

In Narayanpet of Mahabubnagar, there was no Muslim candidate and in Mahabubnagar constituency three Muslims contested and only Ibrahim Syed of BSP stood at 3rd position by securing 21,664 (13.7%) votes. The other two Mohammed Imtiyaz Ahmed and Mohammed Gulam Gouse stood at 6th and 9th positions respectively.

In Malkajgiri constituency of Rangareddy district, there was no Muslim candidate in the field though there were 42 contestants. In Maheshwaram, Mohammed Jaffar, Mohammed Meraj Uddin and Syed Abbas were in the field but their position was 6th, 7th and 15th respectively. In Tandur constituency there was no Muslim candidate.

But for one, in Vikarabad district all the Muslim dominated constituencies are of general category, and unlike in many other states, most of such constituencies are reserved for SC/ST. Still the political presence is abysmal.

All-out support to TRS
Since the formation of Telangana state, Muslims have been supporting the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (now Bharat Rashtra Samiti). Earlier they were considered the strong vote base of Congress. The present chief minister Rajshekar Reddy had promised to provide reservation for Muslims in order to overcome their backwardness. Fulfilling the promise, 4% reservation was allotted to Muslims, after coming to power. Hence in 2018 elections, TRS enjoyed full support of Muslims. But anti-incumbency factor cannot be overruled this time.

After victory in the neighbouring state, the Congress is projecting the Karnataka model and trying to regain the lost ground. After the Bihar government released caste survey data recently, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi endorsed the slogan, ‘Jitni Abadi Utna Haq’, saying that population-based right was a pledge of the Congress.

BJP was never a force to reckon with in either combined Andhra Pradesh or in new Telangana. In a big jolt to the party, ahead of the Assembly elections, former MLA from Mungode and member of the saffron party’s national executive, Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy on Wednesday resigned from the party and announced that he will join the Congress which he had left just a year before.

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