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2009: Indian Muslim Press Statements
For Latest Indian Muslim Press Statements click here
Archive of Indian Muslim Press Statements click here

Muslim Islamic NewsIndian Muslims criticise underrepresentation in Council of Ministers

PRESS STATEMENT

Joint Committee of Muslim Organisations for Empowerment (JCMOE)

JCMOE Criticizes Muslim Underrepresentation in Council of Ministers

Recalls Positive Muslim Role in UPA’s Victory Despite Very Few Tickets

Suggests Reservation for Muslims in Legislature or Introduction of Proportional System

Pleads for Muslim Unity Under Muslim-Core Secular Party, dialogue with Secular Forces

New Delhi, Friday, 29 March 2009: Syed Shahabuddin, the Convener of JCMOE, has issued the following statement:

In a country of continental dimension, marked by plurality and diversity, regions as well as social groups or sub-groups naturally aspire to due representation in the power structure i.e. the legislature and the executive.

In the General Election 2009, 30 Muslims were elected to the Lok Sabha, with 20 under the banner of UPA (11, INC, 4 NC, 3 TMC, 2 IUML) and 10 others (BSP 4, CPM 3, MIM 1, AUDF 1 and BJP 1). Since the INC and allies have secured a total of 265, Muslims expected a least 11 to be inducted in the Council of Ministers. In the event, only five have been, two from J&K in the cabinet and 3 as MOS, 1 each from UP, Kerala and West Bengal. The north has only 2 Muslims, Salman Khursheed MOS (Independent Charge) and Sultan Ahmad MOS (West Bengal) Muslims wonder how much load the two can carry.

This is a very depressing situation for the Muslims.

The INC and its allies, the TMC, and the DMK had fielded in very few Muslims in many states. The general count was either nil or one or two! Yet in all direct contests with BJP, the Muslims voted in favour of the UPA. In Kerala they voted for the UDF and in Bengal for INC-TMC coalition, to defeat the Left. In multi-cornered contests, as in UP and Bihar, Muslim voters showed a marked shift toward the INC. The Muslim voters shunned the ‘Muslim’ parties (except in Assam). All analysts agree on the positive contribution of the Muslims toward UPA’s victory over the NDA. But instead of being rewarded, they feel ignored and marginalized in the formation of government.

Group representation should be a function of its population or of its share in the parliamentary party. Seen from any angle, while some groups and some states have been over- represented, the Muslims and even states with large Muslim population have been under-represented.

The Muslims fear they will be largely voiceless in the 15th Lok Sabha, their concerns will not be projected, their problems; will not be taken up; even information on their welfare will not be forth coming; reports on the performance of government schemes & official bodies will not be discussed.

After this, experience Muslims are seriously thinking that in the absence of proportional electoral system, they can never secure due representation without reservation and without unity under a Muslim-core secular party which can may ally with other secular parties on terms of equality at the time of election.

In 2004 Muslims began with high hopes but ended with disappointment and frustration.

In 2009 they begin the next lap of the political journey with a heavy heart but with the hope that the Secular members of the Parliament shall not totally ignore their problems but strive sincerely to place them on the national agenda.
 

Sd/-
Syed Shahabuddin
Convener

Joint Committee of Muslim Organisations for Empowerment (JCMOE)
D-250, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 2694 6780 Fax: 2694 7346
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