Telangana Muslim JAC shifts support to Congress, ditches BRS for not addressing concerns

The BRS manifesto did not meet the demands of the Muslim JAC, with leaders stating that promises, including 12% reservation for Muslims, were not addressed during the election campaign

Representational image of Congress supporters (photo: National Herald archives)
Representational image of Congress supporters (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Digital

In a perceived setback to the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Telangana Muslim Organisations has come out in support of Congress for the upcoming state elections set to be held on 30 November as they believe it would help in defeating BJP in the Parliament elections next year.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 21 November, the JAC criticised the BRS manifesto for failing to address the demands put forth by them earlier. The JAC, accordingly, has made an appeal to all the Muslims in the state to come together and vote for the Congress.

“We believe that this decision will serve as a tool in exerting pressure on the Congress to implement the promises in the Minorities’ Declarations within six months of coming to power”, JAC state convenor Syed Saleem Pasha said in a statement. Pasha added that the JAC’s support to Congress in the next Lok Sabha elections will depend on the party’s commitment to implementing all the promises in its Minorities Declaration.

On 9 July, the JAC had issued the Muslim Declaration, outlining a set of 22 major demands aimed at fostering the advancement and progress of the Muslim community. Civil liberties activist Prof G Haragopal and the late Zahiruddin Ali Khan, managing director of Siyasat daily, had issued the Muslim Declaration.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the heads of the state committee and district committees of the Muslim JAC held in Hyderabad on 11 November. In the meeting, several members expressed their concern that BRS government had intentionally ignored its commitment to the Muslim population in the state. Those who were in the meeting also spoke about the clandestine understanding between BRS and BJP.

The JAC also noted that All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has advocated for supporting the BRS, but that is based on the party’s alliance with BRS, which has supported BJP on several occasions. Muslim JAC state leaders said the BRS government intentionally ignored its commitments to the Muslim population.

“The Congress Minority Declaration Drafting Committee approached us. We were extended an invitation to a gathering that was attended by every representative of the Muslim community. The Congress has expressed its commitment to carefully evaluate the objectives outlined in the Muslim JAC declaration, and it has incorporated the eight major demands outlined in the Muslim JAC declaration into its minority declaration,” read the statement.

“After attentively observing all of these developments, we have decided to declare our support to Congress in the upcoming Assembly election on behalf of the state committee of Telangana Muslim Organisations, JAC,” said the statement.

The JAC has been in operation for the past two years and it has formulated a plan of action known as the Telangana Muslim Declaration. Released on 9 July, 2023, the Muslim Declaration outlined a set of 22 major demands aimed at fostering the advancement and progress of the Muslim community.

The Muslim JAC organised 17 Muslim Declaration awareness meetings throughout the state and provided the BRS government an opportunity to respond but it made no effort to establish communication with the JAC representatives. The BRS manifesto failed to address the demands put forth by the Muslim JAC. The JAC leaders said the promises made to Muslims including 12 per cent reservation were not being addressed in the election campaign.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), previously known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), had won 88 of the 119 seats, with 47.4 per cent of the total vote share. The Congress came a distant second with 19 seats.

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