Muslims, who constitute about 18 per cent of the population of Telangana, have expressed concern that they will be marginalised in the new state and have demanded political reservation for their community, sufficient employment, a common minimum programme, return of wakf properties, and an assurance of safety and security.
Representatives of several Muslim bodies met Thursday and stressed the need for political empowerment in the new state. “Muslims will decide the fate of future politics of Telangana state through strategic voting… We want all parties to nominate Muslim candidates in constituencies where there is sizeable population of Muslims,’’ Telangana Muslims Joint Action Committee (TMJAC) president Mushtak Malik said while addressing a conference on the “Future of Muslims in Telangana”.
A draft “Charter of Demands” was prepared during the conference — attended by Muslim leaders from all 10 districts of Telangana. The major demands put forth were 12 per cent reservation for Muslims in jobs and education, at least three seats for Muslims in the state Cabinet, that the first official language status should go to Urdu and that encroached wsakf lands be restored.
Moulana Hamed Hussain Shattari, Sunni Ulema Board President, at the conference asked the community to refrain from indulging in emotional and communal politics and instead make a comprehensive plan for its political empowerment.