Statement issued in the press conference held at Press Club of India, New Delhi
In the context of forthcoming Lok Sabha election, Popular Front of India has convened Muslim Political Conclave at New Delhi on 6th March 2019. The conclave was attended by intellectuals, scholars and community leaders belonging to different social and political backgrounds and representing different states. They took stock of the current political scenario, discussed the issues before the nation and resolved to forefront the concerns of the minorities, particularly Muslims. The conclave concluded with adopting a charter of demands which covers the developmental, representational, educational, cultural, security and other issues pertaining to Muslim community.
The conclave urged all political parties who are concerned with minority rights to respond positively and include those demands in their election manifesto. The conclave also appealed to the people, especially minority community voters to watch and evaluate the response of contesting political parties and candidates to this Charter of Demands, while exercising their franchise in 2019 Lok Sabha election. As a follow up of the Conclave, efforts will be taken to include this Charter items in the agenda of political parties and to make the voters alert about their rights. A work plan is being prepared for an intensive campaigning through distributing pamphlets, convening people’s conventions etc in 100 Lok Sabha constituencies where minority votes are decisive
The Charter pointed out that under the present NDA government led by BJP and controlled by RSS; the religious minorities were targeted and discriminated. Instead of politics of justice to all, politics of hate was the policy of the ruling regime. Hence a change of government with the coming election is in the interest religious minorities. At the same time, the existential and developmental issues of minorities have been largely sidelined by major non-BJP parities also, who traditionally depends on Muslim votes. Hence, a mere change of ruling party or coalition without a change of governance policy is not the desired alternative. In order to become the right alternative to BJP, the policy of other parties should be replaced with a pro-people and secular approach to various issues.
The charter cites several issues such as Babri Masjid, representation, anti-people laws etc. in which the opposition parties either extend soft support or maintain studied silence at par with the communal and casteist approach of BJP. Total 73 demands under 25 schemes pertaining to burning problems of the people, particularly minority Muslim community are listed in the Charter. These demands are mainly related to Sachar Committee and Misra Commission recommendations, minority welfare schemes, skilled workers and artisans, repressive laws, NRC exercises and Citizenship Amendment moves, encounter killings, under trial prisoners, proportionate representation, reservation to religious minorities, minority institutions, Muslim personal law, places of worship, Waqf, women empowerment etc.
Popular Front Chairman E. Abubacker presided over the conclave. He stated that the electoral role of Muslims has been confined to either bringing a particular party to power or ousting another party from power in every successive elections. But no party is bothered about addressing their issues. Now the onus of defeating BJP has also been put only on the shoulders of Muslims by the inhabitants in the divided house of secular parties. He emphasized that it is high time the depressed classes think about ensuring their due share in power, instead of remaining as passive voters of different parties. E.M. Abdul Rahiman was the moderator. Dr. Taslim Rahmani presented the draft of charter of demands. M. Mohammad Ali Jinnah welcomed the gathering and Abdul Wahid Sait gave vote of thanks.
We appeal the support of the media in highlighting the democratic and constitutional rights of minorities in the context of the coming Lok Sabha election.
Attending the press conference:
E. Abubacker, Chairman, Popular Front of India
M. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, General Secretary, Popular Front
Abdul Wahid Sait, Secretary, Popular Front
E. M. Abdul Rahiman, Member, National Executive Council, Popular Front
Parvez Ahmed, Delhi State President, Popular Front of India