Telangana Assembly Elections 2023
The entire politics of Telangana Assembly elections has revolved around Muslim votes. In an effort to break Asaduddin Owaisi’s political stranglehold on the vote bank of the Muslim community, Congress and BRS are firing political arrows against each other, while BJP is taking a different political stance by promising to end Muslim reservation and Common Civil Code (UCC). The stakes are afoot. In such a situation, it remains to be seen with whom will the 13 percent Muslims of Telangana go this time?
Owaisi has his own hold on the Muslim voters of Hyderabad area, with the help of which he remains the third force. However, this time there is a fight for Muslim votes between Congress, BRS and AIMIM from Hyderabad to the rest of the state. There are good numbers of Muslim voters in Hyderabad and some other districts of Telangana. They are in a position to spoil the arithmetic of votes in almost half of the 119 assembly constituencies in the assembly elections on 30th November. This is the reason why a game of check-mate is going on regarding Muslim votes.
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Influence of Muslims on 45 assembly seats
Of the total population of 3.51 crore in Telangana, 13 percent are Muslim voters. Muslims have significant influence on about 45 assembly seats out of 119 assembly seats in the state. Of these, 10 seats in Hyderabad have between 30 to 50 percent Muslims, while 20 seats have between 15 percent to 30 percent. Apart from this, there are between 10 to 15 percent Muslim voters on 15 seats. Out of 119 assembly seats, Owaisi’s party AIMIM is contesting only on nine seats, while Congress has fielded six and BRS has fielded four Muslims.
Political parties bet on Muslims
Muslim voters were traditional voters of Congress for a time, but after the death of YSR in 2009, the gap increased due to Kiran Reddy becoming the Chief Minister. Muslims moved away from Congress and went with KCR and grew closer to Asaduddin Owaisi. When elections were held for the first time after the formation of Telangana state as a separate state from Andhra Pradesh, Muslims voted for Owaisi in Hyderabad and outrightly voted for BRS elsewhere and the same pattern was seen in 2018 also. However, in this election, Muslim voters seem to be scattered, due to which all the parties are playing tricks.
Congress’s efforts to bring Muslims together
To bring the Muslim voters of Telangana back into its fold, Congress has come out with full force and is trying to term Owaisi and KCR as the B-team of BJP and Sangh. To maintain its strong hold, BRS is reminding of the promises made to Muslims. From Rahul Gandhi to Congress State President Revanth Reddy, everyone is continuously cornering Owaisi and accusing him of helping BJP. At the same time, Owaisi is also calling Revanth Reddy a puppet of RSS. BRS working president and Chief Minister’s son KT Rama Rao is also attacking Revanth by citing his RSS background. Efforts are being made to link each other with BJP and Sangh for Muslim votes.
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AIMIM fielded candidates on 9 seats
Be it Lok Sabha or Assembly elections in Hyderabad district, the politics revolves around Owaisi. AIMIM is contesting on 9 seats while supporting BRS on the remaining seats. KCR launched many welfare schemes for Muslims, opening 206 residential schools in Muslim colonies, scholarships for students and ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ schemes under which financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh is given by the government for the marriage of poor girls. . There has been no incident of communal violence in Telangana. Based on this, KCR is trying to win the trust of Muslims.
Congress’s separate manifesto for Muslims
In Karnataka, Muslims have voted outright for Congress, which has given confidence to Congress in Telangana also. That is why Congress is openly playing the Muslim game and has also issued a separate manifesto for them. Congress is trying to set the narrative that Congress is the only party which is competing with BJP at the national level and Rahul Gandhi is fighting on the streets. Along with this, a common belief is also getting stronger among Muslims in Telangana that BRS has a secret agreement with BJP. Rahul Gandhi is making this point strongly. In such a situation, it remains to be seen who becomes the first choice of Muslims?