Congress to woo Muslims with 12pc quota bait

Congress to woo Muslims with 12pc quota bait
Highlights

The Congress party decided to use 12 per cent reservations to Muslims issue extensively with a view to improve its vote bank The Congress hopes to gain back the trust of the community before the next elections

Hyderabad: The Congress party decided to use 12 per cent reservations to Muslims issue extensively with a view to improve its vote bank. The Congress hopes to gain back the trust of the community before the next elections.

According to sources in the Gandhi Bhavan, the Congress, besides attempting to gain back the trust of Muslim community, will also expose the relation between the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in hopes to wean away the Muslims from the ruling party. The issue would be prominently raised in the campaign for polls in the coming months.

The Congress which had been enjoying the support of the Muslims till 2014 for decades together was deprived of it in the previous elections and suffered a defeat in the hands of the TRS.

Apart, from the sentiment factor, the Muslim support had also helped the TRS to win majority seats in the Assembly. Congress fears that these factors will continue to help the ruling party in the subsequent elections, the source revealed.

According to Congress leaders, the party had lost several Assembly and Parliament seats in the previous election with slight margin in various segments where the Muslims voters were in sizable number.

Particularly in districts like undivided Mahbubnagar, Medak, Rangareddy, Nizamabad and Adilabad, the Congress suffered the apathy of Muslim voters and lost several seats to the TRS or the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). All these factors made the party decide to win over the Muslim voters again by the time of next elections and party leaders are confident that due to various factors the community would support them.

A senior leader of the party pointed out that the ruling TRS which had lured the minorities with 12 per cent reservations failed to keep its promise in the past four years. It was the only major promise made to the community, the leader added.

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) which is supporting the TRS for the past four years is also demanding that the government provide 12 per cent reservations to the minorities. It may sever the relations with the ruling party on the issue, the leader said. However, the government had been facing hurdles in the implementation of 12 per cent reservation, as the Centre was delaying it.

The bill passed in the State Assembly in this regard is till kept pending with the Centre. Taking the helplessness of the government, the Congress decided to use the issue as a weapon against the ruling party. It would drive home the point among the minorities, particularly the Muslims that the government had failed to keep its promise and had been cheating them, the source said.

The Congress leaders said that the Muslims who form about 13 per cent of the population on an average could tilt the scale in several Assembly segments where the number of Muslim votes is more than the State average, particularly in and around Hyderabad. Their full support would help to win majority of the 24 seats, in GHMC area.

The Muslim vote would help the party in Mahbubnagar, Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Adilabad and Medak districts to win the Assembly and Parliamentary seats.

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