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Tough battle ahead for Congress in Bhiwandi

An imminent division of the secular votes in the Muslim dominated textile town is making the election difficult for the Congress candidate

Tuesday April 14, 2009,  ummid.com Staff Reporter



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Bhiwandi: Bhiwandi located at less than a hundred kilometer from Mumbai is in fact one of the most important textile centers in India. However despite being so near to Mumbai and a textile hub of unprecedented potential, the town could not get its due share of the infrastructure and development work. Instead the town remains as a backward area with an unending list of its own problems and issues that is growing with every passing day.


One of the many reasons for this could be the unfortunate fact that Bhiwandi like Malegaon is another town in Maharashtra that is dominated by the Muslims but was part of a parliamentary constituency that was reserved for Scheduled Cast/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) ever since the Independence. This is the reason why in last sixty years the town could not send to the Parliament a member who could have raised the local issues in front of the Government in a proper manner. However thanks to the decision taken by the Delimitation Committee, Bhiwandi is now an unreserved and open parliamentary constituency of its own and is all set to send a son of the soil as its Member of Parliament (MP).


On the expected lines hence the parliamentary election in Bhiwandi has become comparatively more important this time. The streets are witnessing hectic activities and the atmosphere is politically charged as candidates are using various means of campaigning to woo the voters who will be voting on April 30, 2009.


Though a total of 16 candidates are fighting the election in Bhiwandi, the candidates from Congress, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samjwadi Party (SP) are considered as the strong contenders for the seat. While Congress has fielded Suresh Kashinath Towre as its candidate, Samajwadi Party (SP) has wooed Raghunath Ratan Patil - former Congress taluka president to contest the election on its party ticket. They are facing stiff fight from the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance candidate Jagannath Shivram Patil, a former minister.


Interestingly the Congress and SP candidates both are banking on the Muslim votes that numbers to a deciding 3,75,000 voters out of the total 14,85,351 in the constituency and anyone who gets the majority of the Muslim votes can certainly emerge as victor. At the same time Shiv Sena-BJP alliance candidate, who has a strong traditional pocket votes firmly behind him is looking at the split of the Muslim votes to win over the prestigious seat.


“There of course is a possibility of the division of the Muslim votes benefitting the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance candidate”, Dr. Rehan Ansrai, a columnist with an Urdu Mumbai daily and a reputed medical practitioner says to ummid.com. “However the things are not that easy for the Saffron alliance. There are certain minor issues with the Congress candidate and if they are resolved in time, he can easily win the election.”


However Faizan Azmi, a local Muslim leader and president of the Powereloom Federation is not so optimistic. “Raghunath Patil by deciding to contest the election against the Congress candidate has really made the election difficult for the secular people”, he candidly admitted while speaking to ummid.com. “Furthermore the Muslims in the town who had expected that the Congress high command would give the party ticket to a Muslim candidate as the town has a vast majority of Muslim voters are upset. The opponents are using the anger against the Congress leadership to their own benefits. Against this backdrop it will not surprise anyone if Shiv Sena-BJP candidate wins the election”, he added.


Meanwhile in a dramatic move, Dr. Shakeel Mohd Yunus Ansari who had filed his nomination papers as a Maharashtra United Democratic Front –an extension of Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) formed by Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi, candidate decided to withdraw from the election. As Dr. Shakeel would have surely eaten some of his pocket votes, the decision must have provided a timely relief to the Congress candidate Suresh Towre but he still faces a tough battle ahead.








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Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full




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