In what may queer the pitch for the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, organisations of Muslim OBCs have alleged that the party has been unable to ensure welfare of the community despite being in power for decades and, hence, have called on Muslims to vote against it.
Shabbir Ansari of the All India Muslim OBC Organisation, a veteran of the Muslim other backward classes (OBCs) movement, said that while they were not likely to support the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi directly, they were not averse to casting their lot with other “secular” constituents of the NDA.
“The Muslims are being used as a vote bank,” alleged Ansari, lamenting that the community’s condition had not improved over the years. He added that issues like reservations were revived only before the polls.
“We are putting before people the deeds of Congress and telling them how the party has been cheating us,” said Ansari, claiming that the Rajinder Sachhar committee report, which revealed the extent of backwardness among Muslims, underlined the party’s failure to make things better for the community.
“Who is responsible for this?... it (Congress) has not worked for us,” said Ansari.
“Muslim voters are angry with the Congress,” alleged Ansari, adding that they will soon reveal their cards on which party to support in the Lok Sabha elections. He said that Muslim OBCs, who constitute a bulk of the community in Maharashtra, were facing trouble in getting caste certificates from the government and lacked a separate budget and adequate scholarships.