Haji Hussain Ansari becomes first Muslim minister of Jharkhand

By Manzar Bilal,TwoCircles.net,

Ranchi: Haji Hussain Ansari, chairman of Jharkhand Haj Committee and an experienced politician, has been inducted in the cabinet of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led coalition government of Jharkhand. Ansari is the first Muslim to become minister in the state after it was constituted in 1995.

Haji Hussain Ansari who was elected to Jkharkhand Assembly first time in 1995 and second time in 2000 from Madhupur Assembly consistency on JMM ticket, retained the same seat in recently concluded state assembly election defeating Shiv Dutt Sharma of JVM (P) by a margin of more than 20,000 votes.

JMM chief Shibu Soren was sworn in as Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Dec 30th along with two deputy chief ministers – one each from allies BJP and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

After winning confidence vote in the Assembly, Mr. Soren expanded his cabinet by inducting nine ministers. With this the total number of cabinet members rose to 12 — four each from JMM and BJP, three from AJSU and one from JD (U).

In the 12 member cabinet, Mr. Soren has tried to give representation to backwards, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the minority community.

JMM has inducted two tribals, including Chief Minister Shibu Soren, and one each from Muslim and backward communities while BJP has included two tribals, one Dalit and one from the Vaishya community.

It is to be noted that during the election campaign JMM promised to give vice chief ministerial post to a Muslim in case it came to power with majority. But as JMM was forced to form government with the help of allies, the berth of vice chief ministers went to them. So, JMM anyway tried to send positive message to the Muslims by including Haji Hussain in the cabinet.

Jharkhand which has 13.84% of Muslims population, has sent five Muslim MLAs to the Assembly House in the recently concluded election which is highest number of Muslim MLAs in the state so far. They are Haji Hussain Ansari (Madhupur) and Aquil Akhtar (Pakhur) of JMM, Mannan Mallick (Dhanbad) and Sarfraz Ahmad (Gandey) of Congress and Nizamuddin Ansari (Dhanwar) of JVM (P).

Meanwhile, various Muslim leaders expressed happiness over the induction of Haji Hussain Ansari in the state cabinet as the first minority candidate and hoped that he would be given portfolio of ministry of minority welfare.