Muslim politicians of AP welcome Telangana but with skepticism

    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Muslim politicianss of Andhra Pradesh welcomed the center decision on separate Telangana state, though they are skeptical on the future developments in the interest of the community.

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    Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who was passionately opposing any move to bifurcate the state, today in a press conference accepted center’s decision but reiterated that he stand on his statement that BJP will gain due to the bifurcation, either in immediate way or in the long run.

    MIM chief who got a sigh of relief after center restrained from making Hyderabad as Union Territory which could have potentially led to disaster for MIM which is majorly a city base party. But Mr. Owaisi demanded clarity on proposal of Hyderabad as joint capital for 10 years.

    MIM has now started taking steps which Muslims in the region believed would have been good if it had taken in the immediate process. MIM has begun lobbying for special measures for the community in both the new states; it demanded justice with Urdu on par with Telugu in both the new future states, and continuity of 4.5% reservation and the high monetary budget allocation for minorities.

    Celebrations at Osmania University after UPA’s resolution on Telangana. OU has been the epicenter for Telangana statehood protests.

    MIM now in next few months will be a key factor in Telangana region and with properly exploiting electoral situation it can easily build pressure on Congress. Elections was scheduled to be held in April 2014 in Andhra Pradesh, even after AP turns into two separate states congress hopes to call elections only in April. As UPA is hoping to divide the state in next 6 months after completing all constitutional formalities, Congress which has 48 MLA’s in Telangana will require support of 7 MLA’s from MIM and few independents to form its first new Government in 119 member Telangana assembly. MIM chief also stated that his party will try hard to build up presence in Muslim electoral politics of new proposed state of Seema Andhra.

    Majlis Bacho Tehreek (MBT), a break way faction of MIM too welcomed the decision of UPA. Its president Dr. Khayam Khan, speaking with TCN, said finally justice has been done to the people of Telangana. He added that Telangana was always has been in the Muslim interest as the region has strong Muslim influence.

    He also criticized MIM for changing its stances and for not properly utilizing situation in the interest of Muslims. Dr. Khan said although many promises were made to Muslim community by Telangana separatist groups but there are fears that those promises will never see the light of the day when those same groups will come to power. MBT president said more than before now Muslim community needs its leadership to act, to lobby for the community and save its interest in both the new states.

    After showing good debut performance in Karnataka Muslim electoral politics, Social Democratic Party of India was trying hard to make its base in Andhra Pradesh by keeping Rayalseema region neighboring Karnataka with considerable Muslim population in focus.

    SDPI state president Abdul Warris told TCN that his party support formation of separate Telangana state but he added that his party is upset a bit because they were hoping for a separate Rayal-Telangana state which would have consisted of two Muslim populated districts of Anantapur and Kurnool where SDPI has some presence.

    Mr. Warris, who himself belong to Rayalseema, argues that Rayal Telangana would have been good in Muslim interest as it will boost Muslim population ratio in the new state, in the same way other two districts of Rayalseema Cudappa and Chittor which also has sizeable Muslim population added with new Andhra state would have helped Muslims of that new state in increasing their political clout. SDPI cautioned that by making Telangana state with just 10 districts will lead to many political problems and regional chaos.

    Jamat-e-Islami Hind was in the forefront of separate Telangana movement since it picked up gear in 2009. Through its NGO Movement for Peace and Justice JIH organized many massive public meeting in Telangana to assert the support of Muslim community for a separate state. Its political front Welfare Party of India which was launched in the state few months ago was quick to welcome India’s 29th state. WPI state general secretary Mohammad Azharuddin told TCN that UPA’s decision has done some justice over 60 years of injustice done to the people of Telangana, he added cautiously that WPI supported demand for separate Telangana not on regional lines but for the cause of justice.

    WPI holds a strong believes that Muslims of all regions will be benefited in the new state as their population ratio will increase with smaller states. But WPI state general secretary added that formation of a new state is not just a solution it is the mean to achieve the goals which were drafted and accepted unanimously in the statehood movement that is the power and justice to the oppressed.

    Mohd. Azharuddin also made an interesting point he considers separate Telangana state will benefit more to Muslims of Rayalseema and Andhra who were made electorally irrelevant in Muslim politics. He hoped Muslims of Andhra and Rayalseema will be able to raise its own leadership which was for decades dominated by Muslims from Hyderabad.

    Apart from Muslim base political parties, other Muslim politicians from mainstream major political parties were divided on the regional lines on welcoming and opposing separate Telangana state with every one of them espousing different theory on the benefits and setbacks to the Muslims in the state.

    While some Telangana Muslim leaders from major political parties saw the new state making Muslims electorally more powerful and step ahead to protect its Deccani culture, other Muslim leaders from Seema Andhra feared about minorities’ reservation, maintenance of higher budgetary allocation for the community, and the safeguard of Urdu in Seema Andhra which after the separation of Telangana will become a pure telugu assertive state.

    MIM still holds that BJP will gain in the interim or in the long run but other Muslim political parties were ready to dismiss the notion. While MBT out rightly dismissed it as MIM rhetoric, SDPI claimed that BJP raise will always be questionable in the Telugu region which has strong regional movements, and where BJP hardly has any cadre base support. WPI claimed that Telangana wasn’t something that has to be stopped with the fear of BJP, WPI stated that after Congress BJP is the second strongest national party in India they will definitely try to gain in the new state of India but it will be the responsibility of the Muslim leadership to stand against supposed BJP’s rise with adopting counter strategies.

    Muslim population in Telangana is estimated at 12.43%, where as in united Andhra Pradesh it was 9.17%.


    Telangana and the Muslim question with MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi