With just four days left for the by-election to Nandyal assembly seat, Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu sought to woo the Muslim voters by announcing that he would make a Muslim leader as the chairman of state legislative council.
At present, there are only two Muslims in the Legislative Council – Shariff Mohammad Ahmed and N M D Farooq, both from the TDP.
While Ahmed was elected by the MLAs, Farooq was a nominated MLA. Apparently, Naidu sent a message to the Muslim voters of Nandyal that Farooq, who hails from their constituency, would be made the council chairman.
While flagging off the first batch of Muslim pilgrims heading for Mecca from Amaravati, Naidu also announced several sops for Muslims, including Urdu University in Kurnool.
He claimed that the government has allocated Rs 2,844 crore for the welfare of the Muslims in the state.
Naidu’s government has not given representation to the Muslims in his cabinet and is now planning to compensate it with the Council chairman post.
In fact, Naidu had assured to make Silpa Chakrapani Reddy, also from Nandyal, as the legislative council chairman, but the latter preferred to jump into the YSR Congress party and was forced to quit the MLC post. Now, the chance is going to N M D Farooq.
It remains to be seen if the Muslims of Nandyal would be happy to vote for Naidu with the welfare programmes he had announced.