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Shhhhh… Muslims, do not ask for representation, simply be the vote bank

Ranchi: In India, it always been a normal practice for people belonging to different caste and religion to hold meetings and then seek representation of their candidate from various political parties. However, when 16 well-known Muslim faces from Ranchi assembled to discuss election-related issues for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, they all were named in an FIR for violating election code of conduct and creating communal disharmony.

Interestingly, the FIR complaint has been made on the basis of news reports which was splashed post the March 14 meeting. The news papers had reported that Muslim community would independently field candidates in as many as five seats, if major political parties did not give tickets to Muslim candidate from least three Lok Sabha constituencies. The FIR has been lodged by one Vijay Kumar Uraon at Hind Pidi police station. A news website reported about it in detail.

“We had organized the meeting with the intention of spreading awareness among the Muslim community to not just become a vote bank but to ask for electoral representation. We also wanted the community to become aware of its needs and to demand for schools, colleges, hospitals and good infrastructure from the candidates seeking our votes,” stressed Dr SS Ahmad, a social activist while talking to eNewsroom. Dr Ahmad is one of the 16 people who had participated in the meeting.

“The meeting’s agenda was to demand representation from all the parties – BJP, Congress, JMM, JVM etc. But, since the so-called secular parties seek Muslim votes, so many people feel that our demands were from them only. But it was a social gathering and not political one. It has no poster-banner or anything belonging to any political party,” said social activist Nadeem Khan, another participant.

Significantly, most of the people who were present in the meeting had fought for the creation of Jharkhand as a separate state. Some of the participants were social activists and journalist.  Many participants, earlier in the past, had helped the administration in maintaining peace in Ranchi.

Bashir Ahmed, Dr SS Ahmad, Ajaz Ahmad, Nadeem Khan, Haji Imran, Raza Ansari, Lateef, Md Naushad, Abdul Ghaffar, Hafeez, Junaid, Nawab Chisti, Sonu Bhai, Imam Ahmad, and Mohammad Shahid have been accused of violating the election model code of conduct.

However, ironically the behaviour of Ranchi administration, who also echoed the view of the complaint lodged against these men. Ranchi SDO, Garima Singh said, “FIR has been filed under section 125 of RP Act against people involved for organizing a meeting at the Aman Community Hall, with the motive of creating communal disharmony during the elections.

CPI (ML) leader Vinod Singh while talking to eNewsroom said, “Election Commission should take note of this case, as there has been no violation of model code of conduct or attempt of creating communal disharmony. It is the right of every community to seek representation from political parties. In fact these days, many political parties openly take religious minority groups name during rallies to polarize votes, but very rarely any action is taken against them.”

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