Lok Sabha elections: WB regional Muslim parties join hands
By Manzar Bilal, TwoCircles.net,
Patna: Muslims of West Bengal, who had a glorious past and once had economic prosperity, are facing various kinds of problems concerning every aspect of their lives. They are considered extremely poor and only fit for ordinary labour. Business groups are exploiting them by giving meager wages. Their educational percentage is also vey low.
However, keeping an eye on alluring Muslim voters political parties are including promises to Muslims in their manifestos. Congress ensured reservation for Muslims in job sectors in its manifesto, its ally in West Bengal Trinamool Congress also went on the same track.
The Trinamool Congress promised job reservations for the Muslims and women as well as to introduce Urdu as the second language in all areas where they constitute more than 10 per cent of the population.
It also assured to establish Central universities for the Muslims on the lines of AMU to exclusive schools, medical facilities and madarsas for them.
What are Muslims thinking about these promises?
Fakhrul Islam, a social activist in Kidderpur Kolkata said: “According to a report published in “Indian Express” Muslims’ representation in government jobs are less than 10% while they are 25% of the population of the state. The share of Muslims have gone down during the period of the present government led by the Left alliance. The share of Muslim women in government jobs is also worse as their representation barely touching two per cent”
Zaheer Anwar thinks that unemployment and insecurity are the real problems for Muslims in West Bengal and no party took any initiative to solve that. “Former West Bengal Chief Minister of Congress, Siddhartha Shankar Ray, had promised equality of opportunity to all citizens including members of the Muslim community in government jobs and announced that at least one Muslim police officer would be posted in each and every Police Station in West Bengal but the implementation was not seen on the ground” he told TwoCircles.net.
However, Maulana Siddiqullah Chaudhry, the president of Public Democratic Conference of India (PDCI), firmly rejected the promises made by the Congress and Trinamool Congress and termed it as another attempt to fool to the Muslims. PDCI along with United Democratic Front of Badruddin Ajmal has so far announced its candidates for 10 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
Candidates for Bashirhat, Joynagar, Sreerampur, Krishnagar, Uluberia, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur, Birbhum and Balurghat have been announced.
Talking to TwoCircles.net Maulana Chaudhry, who is contesting from Bashirhat, said that the issues on the basis of which we will seek votes are;
First: to save our democratic country from both outsiders and insiders factors who are trying to wipe out the democratic system in the country.
Second: to promote an independent foreign policy that would be without pressure of any country in the world.
Third: to give reservation in all government sectors for Muslims as per their population because it is the only way to tackle unemployment and poverty of the community.
Fourth: to protect women’s chastity and give their actual rights and respects.
Fifth: to establish factories and job sectors without occupying the lands of public.
Asked numbers of the seats on which his party will contest, he said: “PDCI and UDF will contest jointly from 13 constituencies.”
“We also tie with some regional parties such as “Indian Union Muslim League”, “Maghribi Bengal Muslim League”, Samajwadi Janata Party and “Republican Indian Party.”
Though he reserved his opinion on how many seats they expect to win but he expressed his happiness on contesting election jointly saying: “ It is first time when we all came together to fight the elections so, we hope better result” he said.
Noteworthy, Siddiqullah Chaudhry is the person who has been active for last few years for Muslims and other marginalized communities especially in Nandigram.
He said that the major problem that Muslims of West Bengal are facing is unemployment and he blamed both central and state governments for that. “We want to bring down the state government as its policies are against minorities and we are contesting this LS election as a preparation of assembly election” said he.