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Virtually No Muslim Candidate in Chhattisgarh, II Phase

 

 

 

By Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

Nov. 8, 2023
Chhattisgarh will go to poll in II Phase without any Muslim candidate from the major political parties. Of the 70 assembly seats for which polling will be held on 17th November there are 44 General constituencies and 17 ST and 9 SC reserved seats.

Of the General category constituencies there is a sizable Muslim population in Ambikapur, Raigarh, Korba, Takhatpur, Bila, Bilaspur, Janjgir – Champa, Khallari, Patan, Raipur North and South, Vaishali Nagar, Bhilai Nagar and Bemetara.

The Congress Party has fielded only one Muslim candidate this time. Mohammed Akbar of Raipur is contesting on Congress ticket as a repeat candidate from Kawaradh, where voting was held on 7th Nov. Badruddin Qureshi of INC who was a runner-up from Vaishali Nagar in the last assembly election, has been dropped by the party this time. A few more eligible aspirants could not succeed in getting party tickets.

For the three lakh around and mostly urban based Muslim population the lone representative in the last assembly, Mohammed Akbar will hopefully repeat this time.

Raipur South has a unique political feature of highest number of contestants especially among Muslims. Of the total 46 contestants there were 21 Muslims in the field in 2018. Out of them 19 were independent, including 4 women and one each from AAP and BSHSP (Bhartiya Sarvjan Hitey Samaj Party). All of them lost their deposit amounts. Only 5 of them got triple digit votes. It was a repeat scene of 2013 in this constituency. There were 18 Muslim candidates out of 38, 16 were independents, including 2 women then and one each from LCCP and BSSP. None of them was lucky to get back the deposit amount. However, both the times this band of candidates facilitated the BJP to have a cakewalk.

Other constituencies like Bhilai Nagar, Vaishali Nagar, Bilaspur and Durg City also had multiple Muslim candidates in both the last and previous assembly elections.

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