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MIM MLAs reject Telangana JAC's call to quit

By Mohammed Siddique
January 14, 2010 23:47 IST

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim political party with a strong base in Hyderabad and seven MLAs, has rejected the call of Telangana Joint Action committee to resign from the Andhra Pradesh assembly in support of a separate state.

MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi told on Thursday that MIM was a political party responsible to the people and it cannot act under pressure from any committee or forum.

"Our members are elected by the people and they are responsible to the people," he said.

On TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram's statement that pressure will be built on the legislators who will not resign, Owaisi said, "We will not bow to any pressure."

Without elaborating whether the MIM was in support of separate Telangana state or against it, Owaisi said, "We strongly believe that Muslims are also a party in this issue and they should be consulted by the Centre before any decision is taken and MIM represents the Muslim community".

He pointed out that among the 119 legislators from Telangana region, only MIM could get seven Muslims elected making it the sole representative of Muslim community.

"Tell me how TRS, Congress or TDP can claim to be our representatives when they could not get a single Muslim elected to the assembly. It was only on the MIM tickets that Muslims were elected to assembly and Parliament," he said.

He said that at a time when the central government has agreed to start the process of wider consultations on the issue of Telangana, every body should give time for the process to complete.

On the contention of Telangana JAC that the resignations by all the legislators and MPs will create a constitutional crisis, Asad said he was not sure how many of the Telangana legislators were going to resign.

"What kind of constitutional crisis they are talking about and what it is going to yield? Anyhow, we are demanding from the beginning that President's rule should be imposed in the state," he said.

Asad also argued that formation of Telangana state will be politically beneficial to MIM as it can increase its strength in the assembly.

"But what about the Muslim community? What impact it will have on them and how it will benefit the communal forces like the BJP? These are the questions worrying us," he said.

He cautioned that in a separate Telangana state, only the BJP would fill the vacuum of opposition against the Congress. "The TDP will be wiped out and it will be a fight between Congress and the BJP," he said.

On the issue of Telangana state, he said that the MIM had a different perspective on the issue because at the time of the merger of Telangana into Andhra Pradesh, Muslims had suffered the most in terms of education and employment.

Differences in Congress

Meanwhile, differences seem to be growing within the JAC on the issue of forcing the acceptance of resignations by the Telangana MLAs.

While the TRS and TDP leaders were willing to go to any extent, Congress MLAs seems to be developing cold feet.

According to sources, while there were some Congress leaders like former minister R Damodar Reddy willing to take the matters to a logical conclusion and force Speaker to accept their resignations, others did not want to antagonize the party high command.

Congress central leadership was already exerting pressure on Telangana legislators to withdraw their resignations. According to sources, some Congress leaders, including former Home Minister K Jana Reddy, were not too enthusiastic about January 28 deadline announced by the TJAC for forcing the acceptance of resignation.

But he has issued a public warning that if the Congress high command says no to Telangana, he will quit the party.
Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad