Congress which has set its eyes on wresting the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Asia’s largest civic body, from the Shiv Sena-BJP in the 2012 is wary of the possible Muslim support to Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The meeting of prominent Muslim clerics from Mumbai with MNS president Raj Thackeray on the occasion of his birthday last month has sent alarm bells in the Congress. Just like elsewhere in the country, Congress sources said Muslims and Dalit support is crucial for the party in the country’s commercial capital. Atleast 12-14 Assembly segments out of the total 36 in Mumbai are Muslim dominated or areas where Muslims form sizeable voter population. There are 10 corporators belonging to the Congress who are Muslims, out of which two were elected to the Legislative Assembly. In the 227 member civic body, the Congress has 76 corporators with two co-opted members. The Muslim population in Mumbai is over 25 lakh majority of which belong to Memon, Khoja, Shia communities who have been living in the city for generations. Sources said Muslims have never supported communal forces. But, MNS has not done or spoken anything against Muslims. If the community feels that MNS can be an option, Congress is in for serious trouble and its dreams of capturing the civic body in the upcoming elections, will be dashed.
December 20, 2017
January 18, 2008