‘TDP may lose Muslim votes after joining hands with BJP’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘TDP may lose Muslim votes after joining hands with BJP’

By, Hyderabad
Apr 04, 2024 08:12 AM IST

Muslim groups in Andhra Pradesh have launched a huge campaign on social media, warning the community voters against voting for the TDP in the coming elections

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is facing the threat of losing the support of majority Muslims in the state in the May 13 elections, following its return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fold by forging an electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with JanaSena Party.

On March 31, Andhra Pradesh Muslim Parirakshana Samithi (Andhra Pradesh Muslim Protection Committee) held a meeting near Vijayawada and gave a call to all the Muslims in the state to vote against the NDA allies in the state (HT)
On March 31, Andhra Pradesh Muslim Parirakshana Samithi (Andhra Pradesh Muslim Protection Committee) held a meeting near Vijayawada and gave a call to all the Muslims in the state to vote against the NDA allies in the state (HT)

After days of negotiations and deliberations, Naidu entered into an alliance with the BJP on March 9 and signed a seat-sharing agreement with it, according to which the BJP was allocated six out of 25 Lok Sabha seats and 10 out of 175 assembly seats in the state.

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Within days, Muslim groups in Andhra Pradesh have launched a huge campaign on social media, warning the community voters against voting for the TDP in the coming elections.

On March 31, Andhra Pradesh Muslim Parirakshana Samithi (Andhra Pradesh Muslim Protection Committee) held a meeting near Vijayawada and gave a call to all the Muslims in the state to vote against the NDA allies in the state.

“The BJP is creating a rift among the people in the country in the name of religion. Any party that has joined hands with the BJP will be treated as anti-Muslim,” said Samithi state general secretary Lal Ahmed Ghouse.

He alleged that the TDP had breathed life into the BJP which had no strength at all in the state. “How can the TDP ally with the BJP which has been witch-hunting Muslims in the country and indulged in atrocities against minorities in the name of Halal, cow vigilantism, NRC and CAA?” Ghouse asked.

The Samithi also took a dig at the ruling YSR Congress party headed by chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for adopting a soft-stand towards the Narendra Modi government all these days, though it had not directly allied with the BJP.

Meanwhile, a WhatsApp group created in the name of Muslim Intellectuals Association has been allegedly sending messages to all the Muslims in the state, asking them to be wary of the BJP, which was trying to resurrect itself by joining hands with the TDP. “Wake Up Muslim Brothers! Think twice before voting for the unholy communal alliance of the TDP-BJP-JanaSena in the coming general elections. Any vote for the TDP is a vote for the communal BJP,” a pamphlet doing rounds in the WhatsApp group.

The group warned the Muslims that if the alliance comes to power and the TDP supports the BJP at the Centre, the latter would implement dangerous programmes like CAA, Uniform Civil Code, NRC and NPR.

A senior minority leader of the TDP on condition of anonymity said the Muslims, who account for around 7% of the total population in the state, were not politically polarised. “They had mixed loyalty till 2014. Majority of them were supporting the Congress and others the TDP in the past,” he said.

After 2014, the majority of the Muslims had moved towards the YSR Congress party, as the TDP had joined hands with the BJP then. After 2019, when Jagan came to power and started maintaining good relations with the BJP, a section of the Muslims began tilting towards the TDP. “But now with the TDP openly allying with the BJP, they are angry,” he said.

Though the Muslims were sceptical towards Jagan, too, as his party supported the Modi government on various issues, including voting in favour of the CAA in Parliament, the YSRCP is now saying that it had extended only issued-based support to the BJP government at the Centre.

“Jagan made it clear many times that he is against discrimination of people on religious and caste lines. Therefore, YSRCP doesn’t accept CAA rules in its current format and we have sought amendments to the law so that it is acceptable to each and every one,” YSRCP lawmaker Mohd Hafeez Khan said.

The TDP president, who addressed a rally at Madanapalle in Chittoor district last week, said his party had allied with the BJP only for the sake of development of the state.

“Please don’t get carried away by the false propaganda against the NDA regime. Our whole effort is to see that the lives of Muslim minorities will see progress and development in all areas,” he said.

Senior BJP leader and former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said, “The YSRCP is instigating the Muslims for the sake of votes. The rights of the Muslims would be fully protected under the Modi regime,” he said.

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