A Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh has appealed to party President Sonia Gandhi to nominate a member from the Muslim community to contest Rajya Sabha elections in the state. General Secretary of the state Congress Committee’s Minority cell Mohammad Idrees Khan has said the move will enhance the party’s image and attract the community’s vote.
In a letter to Gandhi, Khan said, “In 2012, you had decided to send Ibrahim Qureshi to Rajya Sabha from MP but at the eleventh hour he was denied the seat and the same was given to senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi.”
“If you didn’t want to send Qureshi for any reason at that time, then in his place some other Muslim leader could have been given the chance as you had already decided to send him (Qureshi) to the Upper House...Who are the leaders who indulged in conspiracies to make you change your decision. Why you did not try to find out? It puts a question mark over your leadership,” the letter dated May 23 said.
“After 2012, the party again denied the Rajya Sabha berth to a Muslim candidate in 2014. Though leaders like Syed Sajid Ali, Masarrat Shahid, Ibrahim Qureshi and others were in Delhi and in regular touch with top AICC office bearers, the seat was allotted to Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh,” it said.
“If this time also the party fails to give Rajya Sabha berth to any Muslim candidate, then it will be a major setback for the community,” the letter said. Khan also alleged that Congress workers were unable to convey their feelings to the party president as there is no way to do so.
“Create some system so that those who write a letter to the Party President should get at least one line reply from you. This will ensure that the party will not get weak,” he said. Three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh are to fall vacant. Sitting BJP members Anil Madhav Dave and journalist Chandan Mitra, besides Congress’ Vijay Laxmi Sadho are to retire. The notification for the biennial polls is likely to be issued today.