Hyderabad: In a major setback to the Congress ahead of upcoming Telangana Assembly Election 2018, senior party leader of the state Abid Rasool Khan resigned on Friday. The development comes a day after he threatened to quit the party while alleging that genuine Muslim ticket aspirants have been ignored.
Demanding ‘social justice’ for the minority community, the former chairman of the state Minorities Commission, said the Congress should give tickets to Muslims in one constituency each in the 10 old districts of the state where the party have chances to win. “Can they not do that much?” he had asked.
For the unversed, the Congress has so far announced candidates in 75 constituencies, which include four Muslims, for the December 7 polls to the 119-member state Assembly.
Notably, the Congress has forged an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) to take on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Under the seat-sharing formula announced by the Congress, the TDP would contest in 14 constituencies, TJS in eight and the CPI in three. The Congress would field nominees in 94 segments.
Khan said of the four Muslim candidates announced by the Congress, two have joined the party only recently and one was not even a member of the outfit. “We (Muslim leaders of Telangana) are very upset. Our president, Rahul Gandhi, has time and again said he will take care of genuine workers, and he will not allow paratroopers to enter the party and take out the cake. Things are totally happening on the other side (to the contrary),” he told PTI.
Muslims constitute 30-35 per cent of the population in some of the district headquarters like Nalgonda, Nizamabad and Khammam, Khan said, adding that leaders of the Reddy community had established themselves there and “don’t want to leave the seats at any cost, because Muslim votes come easily to them”.
The Congress leadership, he insisted, has to shift the Reddy community members from these towns and give tickets to Muslims. “They (Reddy community members) can win from anywhere, as they are strong financially, but Muslims cannot win from other seats.”
Adding further, he had claimed that the Congress leadership was “so helpless”, they should give a commitment that all nominated MLC (member of legislative council) seats would be given to Muslims and Christians. “You don’t want to give us nominated positions, don’t want to give us political opportunities, you just want our votes. What is the difference between our party and the BJP?” he said.
“If Rahul Gandhi really wants to win Telangana for Congress, he should sit down and set right this anomaly immediately,” he said, warning that the party would be in a bad situation in all the districts if the Congress chief do not act”, Khan said.
The voting for 119-member Telangana Assembly will be held on December 7. The counting of votes is scheduled for December 11. The results will be announced on the same day.
(Inputs from PTI)