With Rajasthan assembly elections round the corner, the state joint forum of the major Muslim organisations in Rajasthan has started voicing their demands over ticket distribution from ‘secular parties’ in proportion to the population. The forum proclaiming the current situation to be fatal for the country’s democratic system expressed concern over the declining ratio of Muslim representation in the assembly.
The forum conveners, Qari Moinuddin, Muhammad Nazimuddin, Hafiz Abrar Ahmed, Advocate Packer Farooq said that all ‘secular political parties’ must ensure participation of all religious sections including Muslims.
Last month it was also reported how the president of the Congress party’s minority cell in Rajasthan, Nizam Quereshi, had appealed to the Congress party demanding 18-20 seats exclusively for candidates from the Muslim community.
This revelation came in the wake of reports hypothesising that the Congress is likely to field fewer Muslim candidates in the upcoming assembly election in Rajasthan than the last time. A senior Congress leader had made it clear that “There is a clear direction from the high command that tickets should be given to candidates who can win. We will not unnecessarily get into any kind of balancing act. At the end of the day, only seats will be counted.”
A political analyst named Anil Kumar Singh had however asserted that the move appeared to be in sync with the party’s strategic shift to soft Hindutva. “In its campaign so far, the Congress has not raised issues related to minorities at high decibel. Its president, Rahul Gandhi, is visiting temples and offering puja on his visits. It clearly indicates that the Congress looks to ‘kill’ BJP with its own medicine,” he said.
The Rajasthan Muslim forum, however, demanded that tickets should be given to nominees who belong to the weaker section of the society and to people who would understand Muslim predicaments and would put in the effort to resolve them rather than to candidates with communal and criminal backgrounds considering they are popular and have better chances of winning.
The Forum further advised the ‘secular parties’ to consult the representatives of the Muslim to include the issue of security, education, employment etc for minorities in the party manifesto.
While all parties gear up for 2019 general elections it was reported a few months back how Rahul Gandhi in his desperate attempt to boost his image, had met some Muslim intellectuals and activists at his residence. Interestingly, the leaders of the so-called Muslim intellectual class had then conveyed their displeasure over the Congress Party’s recent narrative of being soft to Hindus. During the meeting, the intellectuals had also advised Rahul Gandhi to do a “self-introspection of the Congress party”, claiming that the party had changed a lot in recent times.
Congress apparently is now sitting on a powder keg. While Rahul Gandhi declared himself as a ‘janeu dhari Hindu’ in a bid to appease the Hindu electorate which has been disgruntled with Congress for a while owing to its “Hindu Pakistan” and “Saffron Terror” sort of remarks, the Muslim community which has been Congress’ core vote bank, considering how Congress has appeased the minority for decades, seems disgruntled at this pseudo-Hindutva stand. Considering that the Congress party is now stuck in a baited trap, it would be interesting to see what would be the parties trajectory in the upcoming elections.
Rajasthan, along with four other states, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Telangana and Chhattisgarh go to polls in the upcoming weeks. Rajasthan will vote on 7th December and the counting of votes will take place on 11th December.