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MUSLIMS FEEL LEFT OUT IN ALLOCATION OF TICKETS

Muslims in the city are disappointed because they feel the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party have not given them adequate representation when it comes to selecting candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections. Moreover, both parties have reduced the number of Muslim candidates from the 2004 Assembly polls. During the Lok Sabha elections, members of various Muslim organisations met chief minister Ashok Chavan with the demand for a minimum of five seats for the community. Chavan assured them of adequate representation, but did not accede to the demand for 35 Assembly tickets. After both parties finalised their lists, the community discovered only 16 Muslim candidates had been selected — less than the number during the 2004 polls, including one seat less in the city. The community is also upset about the politics played over seat allocation. The loss of a south Mumbai seat is believed to be the result of a tussle between two groups in the Congress. Interestingly, the Shiv Sena and MNS have selected one Muslim candidate each, while the BJP has none.

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