SDPI hopeful to emerge as Muslim vote cracker against powerful Congress ministers in Rajasthan

    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

    Kaman/Jaipur: Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) is going with a concentrated effect to make a pitch in Rajasthan politics. SDPI whose last performance in Karnataka state elections has unwrapped lot of surprises is hopeful of presenting more in Rajasthan. As the fate of the candidates have already locked in the EVMs, TCN explores the prospects of SDPI.

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    In Rajasthan SDPI contested only in three constituencies Kaman, Bundi and Kota North. Party has carefully picked and choose constituencies where they could do maximum damage to Congress party’s honour.

    Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan, National Vice President of the party, is contesting from Kaman constituency against sitting Congress MLA and state minister Zahida Khan. In Kota North state unit president Mohammed Shafi is contesting against another Congress minister Shanti Dhariwal. And in Bundi Moinuddin Sagar is contesting against sitting BJP MLA Ashok Dogra where Congress contestant is National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma.

    SDPI has consolidated its presence in Rajasthan mainly by raising the infamous Gopalgarh firing issue. Kaman is the constituency where Gopalgarh village comes under, there seems to be anti-incumbency against sitting MLA Zahida Khan. On the other hand, Kota North MLA Shanti Dhariwal was the home minister of the state when firing took place at the mosque.

    SDPI VP Hafiz Manzoor Khan, with his supporters.

    In Kota north Muslims have lot of complains with Dhariwal, apart from Gopalgarh firing incident, local Muslims are also angry with their legislator turn Home Minister for rampant terror arrests of Muslim youths from the city in the name of SIMI. SDPI is hoping to rip rich dividends in both this constituencies.

    Kaman constituency, which majorly consists of Mewat region, has 60% Meo Muslims votes, and Kota north has 30% Muslims voters, making them major Congress vote block. Denting Muslim votes means calling doom for two powerful sitting Congress ministers. In Bundi Muslim vote percentage is 12% but SDPI claims that it has good cadre presence in the town and the party is also hopeful of attracting Gujjar community votes.

    Moinuddin Sagar.

    Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan was candid enough to accept their part’s limitation and doesn’t seem hopeful of winning on any of the seat, but he is betting all his cards that SDPI will play a key role in defeat of Congress ministers, to teach them lessons.

    By doing that he says SDPI has increased the value of Muslim votes, “Earlier in this constituencies Congress didn’t have any value for Muslim votes. But now when they will witness this slip, they will concentrate more on addressing community’s issues to get them back in their fold,” SDPI VP told TCN during his campaign.

    Mr. Khan said in bipolar state Muslims doesn’t have any option except to vote for Congress to counter BJP. But SDPI, he say’s has provided a ‘Vikalp’ (alternative) especially to Muslims to show their resentment that “if a community can play a role for a candidate to win, then it can also play a role for candidate to lose”.

    Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan.

    ‘Shanti Dhariwal is a ‘Diggaj Neta’ (powerful leader) of Congress’ agress Mohammed Shafee. “Even if SDPI gets successful in demolishing Muslim vote block of Congress leading to the defeat of most powerful man of the Congress after Ashok Gehlot, then it will be a big achievement and will send a vital message,” he says.

    Mr. Shafee claims that local Muslims in Kota were fed up with Dhariwal as he didn’t pay any interest to address community’s issue. “His mind-set was that ‘no one can defeat me as anyhow Muslim will vote only for Congress’,” But in this election he says ‘Dhariwal got a tough time to get Muslim votes’. Shafi said after the support he got from local Muslims he is hopeful of getting least 20,000 votes.

    Kaman constituency which has Muslim voter percentage like no other constituency, in the same term it is most neglected of all the Muslim concentrated constituencies in the state. It has been for long a family bastion with Zahida Khan representing third generation of her family on the seat.

    Mohammed Shafi.

    Hafiz Manzoor Ali says that Meo Muslim vote bank used to fall free in Congress pocket on the fear of BJP, now in this election he said that has not been the case. “Zahida Khan will be defeated this time as her major Muslim votes is being drifted,” a confident Manzoor Ali Khan told TCN.

    Although Zahida Khan, in an earlier interview to TCN, rejected SDPI as ‘non contender’ party against her, Mr. Manzoor Ali claimed that she made lot of offers to SDPI to settle down. In Kota he said was the same case.

    “We didn’t enter politics to settle with corrupt politicians, even if we are defeated this time we have a five year long plan and social engineering strategies for the next election, we will definitely win in the next contest,” Mr. Manzoor Ali said.

    SDPI claims that they have given an assertive voice to Muslims in Rajasthan politics and wish to change it in a potent force in the days to come.

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