Telangana Congress’ minority cell chairman post still vacant

Hyderabad: Four months after its Minority Cell chairman Abdullah Sohail quit and the joined the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Congress has still not found a replacement. The empty position has left many Muslim leaders worried and confused, as the position is important especially for the party’s performane in the Hyderabad Parliament seat.

Ex-Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minority Cell chairman Shaikh Abdullah Sohail had quit the party on October 29, in the run up to the November 30 Assembly polls last year. Citing issues in the ticket distribution, he had resigned and joined the BRS. “It has been over four months and the party also won the election. How are we supposed to contest the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat without a strong minority seat?,” asked a senior Muslim leader from the Congress who did not want to be named.

The Congress leader told that ideally the party should have appointed a new person and also set up other committees. The Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat has been held by the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) since 1984. In the 2019 polls, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi won the seat with over five lakhs of votes. His nearest rival was from the BJP with a little less than 2.5 lakh votes. Then Congress candidate Feroze Khan managed to get close to 50,000 votes.

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“If the party is serious about the state’s minority department, then they would have made new appointments and begun work on it already. It is true that all Muslim candidates lost and the party does not have a single Muslim MLA. But even otherwise, Abdullah Sohail had quit the party and left four months ago, and as of now, we do not have a strong Muslim leadership. Shabbir Ali’s appointment as minority advisor won’t help electorally,” he added.

In the 2023 state polls, the Congress gave six tickets to Muslims. The candidate who came closest to winning was its Nampally face Feroze Khan, who lost with a margin of less than 3000 votes against AIMIM’s Mohd Majid Hussain.