The Telangana Muslim Organisations Joint Action Committee (JAC) has issued a comprehensive Muslim declaration, outlining 22 demands that political parties must pledge to fulfill in order to secure the support of the Muslim community. This declaration comes ahead of the upcoming Telangana Assembly polls and general elections, where Muslims play a crucial role in determining the outcome.
Justifying their demands, the declaration mentioned that although Telangana Muslims hold 13 percent of the vote share, they are neglected and only used as vote banks.
The Muslim declaration was drafted during a meeting of prominent Muslim intellectuals held at the Madina Education Centre in Hyderabad. Notable attendees included Prof. Haragopal and Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, the Managing Editor of Siasat Daily. The event was presided over by Saleem Pasha, Convener of Muslim JAC, and co-convener Shaik Yousuf Baba.
A diverse group of participants joined the meeting, including retired OU Professor Ansari, Mohammad Yunus, Coordinator of MJAC, Sheikh Farooq Hussain, All Mewa State President, and several district leaders from different regions.
The declaration emphasizes the marginalization faced by Telangana Muslims and highlights various reports, including those by the Justice Sachar Committee, the Ranganath Mishra Commission, the Sudhir Commission, and Telangana’s first BC Commission.
The list of demands presented in the Muslim declaration covers a wide range of issues affecting the Muslim community in Telangana.
Key demands include the allocation of at least 10 MLA seats, one per undivided Telangana district (excluding the Old City of Hyderabad), and a guarantee of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha or MLC representation in districts without Muslim MLA presence.
The declaration also calls for substantial reservations in public education and employment for marginalized Muslims and a dedicated annual budget of ten thousand crore rupees for minority welfare.
Other demands include the establishment of a powerful Commissionerate for the Waqf Board with granted judicial power, the construction of permanent buildings for minority gurukuls (educational institutions), the inclusion of the Mehtar community in the Scheduled Caste category, and the implementation of recommendations from the Justice Sachar Committee.
The declaration also stresses the importance of Urdu language and advocates for its encouragement.
In addition, the Muslim declaration highlights the need for adequate representation of Muslims in nominated positions, the filling of vacant posts in various departments of the minority department, the construction of post-matric hostels in all 33 districts, and the provision of subsidized loans for Muslims engaged in unorganized occupations.
The declaration also addresses issues related to the preservation and maintenance of Muslim burial grounds and the construction of defensive walls.
Furthermore, the declaration calls for the disbursement of funds from the special treasury for government-sponsored Iftar parties during Ramadan and the allocation of a special fund for mosque renovation. It also demands the regular payment of a monthly honorarium to Imams and Muezzins, along with the processing of pending applications for such payments.
The Muslim declaration concludes with a plea for the fulfillment of all pending subsidized loan applications with the Minority Finance Corporation and the construction of Muslim marriage halls and minority community halls in every mandal.
Additionally, it demands an ex-gratia amount of Rs. 50 lakh to be given to the family of Qadir Khan, who tragically lost his life at the hands of the Medak Police.
The Telangana Assembly polls are scheduled to take place later this year, with 119 constituency seats up for grabs. In the previous assembly elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), now known as the BRS, emerged victorious, securing 88 seats and forming the government. The Indian National Congress (INC) saw a slight decrease in seat share, going from 21 to 19, while the AIMIM won seven seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could only manage to secure a single seat, won by Raja Singh in the Gopalpet constituency.