With the Karnataka elections fast approaching, the big question of the religious minority crops up. The Congress party is heavily counting on the fact that the BJP doesn’t have a single Muslim minority candidate to represent the Muslim community while the Congress and JD have 15 and 17 candidates respectively. In spite of the fact that they do have Muslim candidates for the coming elections, the fact remains that Congress sees the Minority community leaders as a vote bank and nothing more.
However, BJP takes its stand saying that the despite the fact they do not have a Muslim candidate to represent the minority community, it claims that the reforms brought about by the BJP government and the current manifesto is going to help them win over the hearts of the Muslim brothers. The senior party leader of BJP claim that the Muslims are very much a part of them and does not need a Muslim candidate to prove their point.
Congress state minority cell chief Ahmed Syed however is counting on the many benefits and schemes that the community has received from the existing government and is confident of the support it might receive during the election. Apart from the Bhagya schemes and loan waivers, “the government’s setting aside the cow slaughter bill passed by BS Yeddyurappa the minorities will remember come polling day.”
This division of the Muslim vote is what the community fears most, though Azadi insists that the “the general notion is that the Muslims are currently in favour of Congress. However, Altaf points out that many important Muslim leaders now in the Congress like Roshan Baig, CM Ibrahim and Zameer Khan were initially discovered by the JD(S), and “it was Deve Gowda who introduced 4 percent reservation for Muslims” in education and employment. “Our party also initiated Tipu Jayanti celebrations,” he said.
The conclusion drawn from the current scenario in Karnataka is heated up, Siddaramaiah might be the natural choice again since the minority communities fear the end of their practices, lifestyle and religious practices and even their Identity.