Sunday, 12 April 2009

Telangana Rashtra Samithi gets support of Muslim clergy


Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 11: Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao has successfully secured the support of the Muslim clergy in Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha constituency from where he is testing his electoral fortunes.

Local Muslim leaders issued a decree in favour of Chandrasekhar Rao urging the Muslim voters to support the TRS chief. Incidentally, the same group opposed Chandrasekhar Rao in the last general elections after he failed to field even a single Muslim candidate from the TRS in Telangana region.

Muslims make up a considerable chunk of the voters in Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha constituency. The principal minority community has about 1.5 lakh voters. This is the first time that the TRS managed to get the electoral support of the Muslim clergy in the backward region.

"We have decided to support the TRS candidate here, though religious leaders elsewhere are supporting other political parties. We feel that KCR will do justice to the community if he were elected to Parliament," said local clergy Moulana Abdul Kareem.

Unlike in the 2004 general elections when the entire Muslim clergy sided with the Congress, this time Muslim religious scholars are divided between the Congress and the Mahakutami, comprising Telugu Desam, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Left.

The United Muslim Front, which represents a number of Muslim religious and cultural bodies, is backing the Congress. Its leader and senior Islamic scholar Moulana Hameeduddin Aquil Hussami is touring districts meeting with local imams of mosques. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is also supporting the Congress.

The Jamat-e-Islamic Hind, another important Muslim body, has given a call to the community members to vote for "secular" parties and candidates and defeat communal forces.

"A majority of the religious scholars are with the Congress, though some are with the Mahakutami. A few are with the Praja Rajyam. It is to be seen whether the community will accept their call or exercise their franchise according to their conscience," said educationist B Moinuddin.

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