Vastavam Web: Muslim votes in Telangana are likely to be split between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the opposition Congress-led People’s Front as the two major contenders for power have intensified their efforts to woo the minority community. With a huge concentration of Muslim voters in state capital Hyderabad and some other districts, they are in a position to tilt the balance in nearly half of the 119 Assembly constituencies going to polls on December 7.
The role of Muslims, who constitute over 12 percent of the state’s 3.51 crore population, may become crucial in what appears to be a straight fight between the TRS and the People’s Front that has the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) as its other constituents. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the third big contestant in some of the constituencies. Muslim voters are believed to be between 35 and 60 per cent in 10 constituencies in Hyderabad and anywhere between 10 to 40 per cent in 50 other constituencies spread across the rest of the state.
The support of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) to the TRS in all constituencies, except the eight where MIM candidates are in the fray, may give the ruling party some edge over its rivals.The Jamaat-e-Islami has also declared its support to the TRS while the Jamaitul Ulema-e-Hind is backing the Congress. The United Muslim Forum, which comprises various Muslim religious and social organisations and is seen as friendly to MIM, also appears divided over the issue of support to the TRS. The TRS’ Mohammed Shakeel Aamir is seeking re-election from Bodhan in Nizamabad district. The Congress’ Taher Bin Hamdan is contesting from Nizamabad Urban.