Sidelined by the mainstream political parties and encouraged by
the impressive results Muslim votes brought first in Assam and
Kerala, and later in the recently held Uttar Pradesh elections,
Muslims in Maharashtra too have decided to launch their own
political party. Preparations were on in full swing for the mega
launch of the party today afternoon at the metropolis's
Shanmukhanand Hall when this reporter spoke to the organisers to
know their motives and the party agenda.
"The existing political parties
including the Indian National Congress have all used the Muslims
as a vote-bank. We have now decided to change this and are
determined to have own political power", Salim Alware, one of the
front leaders of the Awami Vikas Party to be launched today said
while speaking to ummid.com.
Stating that the Muslims in India
supported these parties, mainly the Congress party, in every
elections held after the independence believing them and their
assurances given before the polls. But, after the results, while
these parties enjoyed power, the condition of Muslims became bad
"These parties have virtually
transformed the Muslims into a second class citizen", he said.
Exuding confidence that they would
be successful in their endeavor to have a political power of their
own, he said that the idea of floating the political party was a
well thought-out strategy and they surveyed almost the entire
state before actually announcing the launch. He said that in the
survey they found that there were 47 constituencies in Maharashtra
where the Muslim population was between 20 to 43%.
"At some places like Bhiwandi and
Malegaon, the Muslim population is more than 50%. In the time of
alliance governments, this is a huge number to have influence on
any ruling party or alliance", he added.
In reply to a question Alware said,
"Dalits too are not satisfied with their leaders though there are
20-22 different political groups. Hence we have decided to unite
with them in order to empower the marginalised and oppressed
sections in the state."
Besides Alware, others who are
working for the party include renowned educationalist and activist
Mubarak Kapdi, Javed Pasha who is known for his efforts for the
people from the Other Backward Caste (OBCs), RTI activist M A
Khalid, senior Urdu journalists Khalil Zahid and Sarfraz Arzoo,
Mumbai Aman Committee chief Farid Shaikh and Marathi journalist
prominent figure from the Dalit community Baban Kamble.
Interestingly, the launch of the
party has coincided with the Maharashtra Day celebrations on May
01 - the day when the state was formed more than 5o years ago.