173 Muslims contested in 2023 Telangana elections, only 7 won; all are from AIMIM

Though the Congress party won the majority seats not a single MLA-elect in the party was from the Muslim community

By Sulogna Mehta  Published on  13 Dec 2023 10:30 AM GMT
173 Muslims contested in 2023 Telangana elections, only 7 won; all are from AIMIM

Hyderabad: In the recently concluded 2023 Telangana State Assembly elections, the only Muslim candidates who won the MLA seats were the seven AIMIM candidates (out of nine AIMIM had fielded). All other Muslim candidates fielded by major political parties such as BRS, INC, and BSP have not managed to win a single seat. The BJP did not field any Muslim candidate, and none of the contestants from minor parties or independent candidates could win any seat as well.

Though the Congress party won the majority seats (64 out of 119), not a single MLA-elect in the party was from the Muslim community. Neither did any of the 39 winning MLAs from the BRS party represent the Muslim community.

Given the situation, no representative from the community has been inducted into the State Cabinet so far. However, Congress party sources had said that leaders like Md Shabbir Ali and Md Feroz Khan, who lost from Nizamabad Urban and Nampally segments respectively, would be inducted in the Cabinet during its expansion and a nod from the Congress High Command and chief minister Revanth Reddy is awaited in this regard.

AIMIM candidates

Representatives of the Muslim community won seven MLA seats and all of these were won by AIMIM, which gave tickets to eight Muslim candidates out of the nine seats that it had contested this time. The constituencies from where they won included Malakpet, Nampally, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura, Bahadurpura and Karwan, while they lost in Rajendranagar (a non-Muslim candidate) and Jubilee Hills constituencies.

Census data

According to the latest census from 2011, the Muslim population in Telangana State was around 12.6 per cent. The total number of candidates who contested the State Assembly elections this year was 2,290 of which 173 were Muslims; a total of 7.5 per cent of candidates. These candidates were either given tickets by their respective parties or they opted to contest the elections as Independents.

Constituency-wise break-up of Muslim candidates

Of the total 119 Assembly constituencies, 19 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. So, the 173 Muslim candidates were free to contest from the remaining 88 constituencies.

However, it was found that no Muslim candidates contested from 63 constituencies including the 31 reserved for SCs and STs. Therefore, Muslim candidates only contested from 56 Assembly constituencies. There were also some bigger constituencies which had several candidates from different parties but just one or two Muslim contestants from lesser-known parties or Independents.

Analysis of constituencies

Breaking down the contestants in one constituency can reveal a larger pattern. For example, out of the 48 contesting candidates in Lal Bahadur Nagar, only one candidate, from the Prabuddha Republican Party, was a Muslim.

From Gajwel, where former CM K Chandrashekar Rao had emerged as the winner, just one candidate from the Jana Sankharavam Party was a Muslim out of 44 contesting candidates.

In Uppal, out of 32 candidates, only one Independent Muslim candidate contested. From Kamareddy Constituency — where both former CM KCR and current CM A Revanth Reddy had contested and lost to the BJP candidate K Venkata Ramana Reddy — there were five Muslims out of 39 total contesting candidates, four of whom were independent candidates and one was from the Republican Party of India.

Not a single Muslim was present among the 13 candidates who contested in Kodangal, a constituency from which CM Revanth Reddy won.

The maximum number of Muslim candidates were from the Bahadurpura constituency (8 out of 12 candidates were Muslim) comprising 66.6 per cent representation.

It was followed by Charminar (7 out of 14 candidates equalling 50 per cent of candidates), Bodhan (6/14 and 42.8 per cent), Yakutpura (11/27 and 40.7 per cent), Nampally (13/34 and 38.2 per cent), Malakpet (10/27 and 37.03 per cent), Chandrayangutta (5/14 and 35.7 per cent) and Jubilee Hills (6/19 and 31.5 per cent). Most of these constituencies are strongholds of AIMIM.

Party-wise analysis

Other than AIMIM who gave tickets to eight Muslim candidates, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had fielded six and seven Muslim candidates respectively, while BRS had fielded three candidates. When the candidates’ list was announced, it was even alleged that BRS had put up dummy candidates against AIMIM to secure the existing seats of its ally AIMIM.

However, none of them could make a mark and emerge victorious or make inroads into any of the AIMIM seats. Among the Muslim candidates that Congress had fielded include former Indian cricket captain Md. Azharuddin from Jubilee Hills and candidates from Nizamabad Urban, Malakpet, Charminar, Karwan and Nampally.

BSP had given tickets to Muslim candidates in Nampally, Nizamabad Urban, Quthbullapur, Amberpet, Charminar, Gadwal and Narayankhed. BRS had fielded three Muslim candidates from Bodhan, Bahadurpura and Charminar.

Smaller parties with Muslim candidates

Apart from the 78 independent candidates, there were smaller parties from which Muslims had contested.

These parties include Majlis Bachao Tahreek (MBT), All India Majlis-e-Inquilab-e-Millat, Anna YSR Congress Party, Republican Party of India, Alliance of Democratic Reforms Party, Desh Janhit Party, All India Hindustan Congress Party, Navarang Congress Party, India Praja Bandhu Party, Prabuddha Republican Party, Jai Maha Bharat Party, Rashtriya Jan Morcha, All India Mahila Empowerment Party, Bharatha Chaitanya Yuvajana Party, Aabaad Party, Vidyarthula Rajakiya Party, Janata Congress Party, Majlis Markaz-e-Siyasee Party, Bahujan Mukti Party, Dharma Samaj Party, All India Forward Bloc, Pragatisheel Samaj Party, Yuga Thulasi Party, Jai Swaraj Party, All India Samata PartyAzad Samaj Party and CPI(M).

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