In the recently held elections to municipal corporations, municipalities, Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC), more than 900 Muslims have been elected in both Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh to different posts under the BC(E) category reservation, which extends to economically and socially poor Muslims the same benefits given to Backward Classes (BC).
The BC(E) category reservation was introduced in undivided AP in July 2007 to provide to poor Muslims benefits such as reservation in admissions and government jobs. However, since elections to local bodies got delayed and were held in April, this is the first time reservation has given political empowerment to the intended recipients.
Three Muslims have become mayors, five municipal chairmen, 18 vice-chairmen, 37 corporators, 327 councillors, 15 ZPTC members, 236 MPTC members and 266 sarpanchs. Shaik Abdul Azeez and Shaik Noorjahan became the mayors of Nellore and Eluru respectively in residuary AP. Similarly, four out of five Muslim municipal chairmen were elected from the BC reserved seats in AP. The lone Muslim municipal chairman of Telangana, Sabiya Begum of Bhainsa, Adilabad district, was elected from a BC(W) seat. Seven out of 12 Muslims elected as vice-chairmen in Telangana and 11 out of 12 VCs in AP won from the BC reserved seats.
The Muslim reservation played a major role in increasing the community’s representatives in all municipal bodies. For instance, 114 out of 206 Muslim councillors in Telangana were elected from BC reserved seats. Presently, their percentage in municipalities in Telangana is 14.72, which would have been confined to 6.58 per cent without reservation.