MVA Should Address Lack of Muslim Representation in Maha Legislature: SP MLA


MUMBAI – Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Rais Shaikh on Thursday said that the representation of the Muslim community is lacking in the Maharashtra Legislature and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) should address this disparity.

The SP legislator has also written to Shiv Sena UBT Chief Uddhav Thackeray, state Congress Chief Nana Patole and state NCP SP Chief Jayant Patil and made a strong plea to give adequate representation to the Muslim community in the state council. “Muslims make up 12 per cent of the state’s population, yet their representation in the Legislative Council is lacking. I urge leaders of the MVA govt to address this disparity. I have written to MVA leaders and advocated for adequate representation of the Muslim community in the state assembly and council,” the SP legislator said.

Rais Shaikh has written to MVA when they have not fielded any Muslims in the biennial state council election slated for July 12. Incidentally, NCP SP legislator Babajani Durrani and Congress legislator Mirza Wajahat are retiring from the upper house.

“Maharashtra Legislative Council has a long tradition of one hundred years. The state has 12 per cent Muslim population. However, Muslim representation in the Legislative Council has remained very minuscule till date,” he said.

He said that Babajani Durrani and Mirza Wajahat are also retiring and therefore the Muslim representation in the Legislative Council will end now. “In 1937, the twin-house system came into existence in the state. Since then, Muslim representation has remained constant in the upper house. Ending Muslim representation in the upper house of a progressive state like Maharashtra is unbecoming,” he said.

He said that MVA did not field a single Muslim candidate in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, despite the presence of Muslim-majority voters in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

“Since the creation of the state of Maharashtra in 1960, out of 567 MPs elected from Maharashtra, the Muslim community has got a meagre representation of only 15 (2.5 per cent). Today there are only 10 Muslim members in the Legislative Assembly. Muslim representation in the state assembly is so dismal despite one in 10 Muslim voters in the state’s 11 crore population,” he said.

Rais Shaikh said that the MVA should correct its mistake by giving adequate representation to the Muslim community while filling the upcoming vacancies in the Legislative Council. “By denying political representation to the Muslim community, the MVA is pushing the Muslim community towards a party like AIMIM which contributes to polarising the Muslim opinion,” he said.

He said that there is a strong demand from the leading leaders that the Muslim community should be adequately represented in the Legislative Council. “It is expected that you (MVA) will respond appropriately,” he said. -IANS

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