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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

JIH to launch political party

Hyderabad: The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has decided to enter politics and it will launch a front organisation for this purpose in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, sources close to Jamaat said. The members of the ‘satellite’ organisation will take up all political activities. The new party may initially be asked by the Jamaat to stay away from contesting elections but eventually the restriction will be removed.

For JIH, a religious and social organisation it took three decades to come to terms with parliamentary democracy and allow its cadre to cast their votes and later to campaign for the candidates. During the April parliamentary elections, the JIH played a key role in moblising Muslim public opinion in support of the "secular forces". During consultative council meetings of JIH it emerged that no one wanted to forsake the membership of Jamaat for entering politics. The majority opinion of the council was that those joining the new outfit should be allowed to retain membership of JIH. However, no decision has been taken on the issue of dual membership.

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