The Congress suffered an unexpected jolt with two influential leaders belonging to Muslim minority community resigning from the party on the same day, suggesting that hordes of Muslims are going adrift toward the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), as they felt disgruntled with the Congress.
Mr Khaleequr Rahman, National Coordinator, Minorities Department in the All India Congress Committee, in his resignation letter sent to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed his deep displeasure over the Congress failing to allot an adequate number of seats to Muslims.
He also said that the party had appointed working presidents from different communities, but the Muslims were ignored. Rahman said that the party had compromised on its secular ideology and joined hands with the parties which opposed the formation of a separate Telangana and those “accused and abused” the party.
Another senior leader Abid Rasool Khan, who frequently represents the Congress point of view in national TV debates, and Vice-President of TPCC also put in his papers for his position and also primary membership of the party.
Abid Rasool Khan resented the injustice meted out to the minorities in the allotment of seats in Telangana. Equal justice has never been done to minorities and the Congress had accommodated, paratroopers, “land grabbers and criminals” in the party, ignoring loyal workers.
He pointed out that the party had sidelined BCs, Muslims and Christians.
Khan strongly criticized neglecting Muslims by the Congress which made two people from Reddy community, one each from SC, BC, Kamma communities as working presidents. He said that the Congress was managed by “Sanghis (RSS sympathisers)”
Rude shock to “secular card”
The resignations came as a rude shock to the Congress, especially at the wrong time. The party, which has sought to play the “secular” card to garner the votes of Muslims has been paid back on the same coin by leaders of the same community. There is no tokenism in the resignations, for the two strong leaders resigned not only to their positions in the party, but even to the primary membership of the Congress.
The Muslim vote bank holds the key to the success of any candidate in as many as 53 Assembly constituencies in Telangana, which has the third largest Muslim population in south India after Kerala and Karnataka. The old Karimnagar district, Khammam district, Kothagudem, Old Nizamabad district, parts of Adilabad like Bellampalli, Luxettipeta nd Srirampur etc are some of the key areas where Muslims can swing the result.
The Muslim communities in these areas have already moved towards the TRS.
While Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is contesting in seven Assembly seats in the State Capital where it could wield influence and retain those seats, it has openly extended its support to the TRS in the rest of Telangana.
TRS confident of minority support
The TRS is exuding confidence that the Muslim votes would en bloc be cast in its favour owing to the numerous welfare programs launched by the TRS Government exclusively for the Muslim communities. Shadi Mubarak, a gift of Rs 1.016 lakh for a Muslim bride in marriage, the 200 minority residential schools, which is a game changer, and a host of other schemes drew the Muslims towards the TRS.
For, the TRS is seen as a party that translates its verbal promises into deeds and delivers the fruits of the same to the people. This has been proved beyond any doubt.
The resignation of the minority leaders from Congress appears to be the proverbial last straw on the Camel’s back.