Patna: Quite possibly for the first time, no Muslim candidate is part of Bihar’s ruiling coalition government in the state. In the just concluded state elections, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which won the Assembly polls, does not have an MLA from the minority community.
The NDA has four parties viz., the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal (United), Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular and the Vikassheel Insan Party. Out of these four parties, the JDU fielded 11 Muslim candidates in the election. However, none of them won the seat. As the alliance has no Muslim MLA, Bihar’s cabinet will also not have any elected Muslim minister.
Currently in Bihar, the RJD has 8 Muslim MLAs, the Congress 4, the Hyderabad-based AIMIM (All India Majilis-Ittehadul Muslimeen) has 5, the left parties have 1 and the BSP has one. Analysts from the state have said that minorities essentially rejected Muslim candidates of the JD (U) as they realized that both Nitish’s party and BJP are on the same page.
Muslim leadership in the past
Irrespective of the ruling party in the Bihar, Muslims held many important ministries and posts in the state government since 1952. In the past, they have presided over both the legislative assembly and legislative council.
Muslims from the state have even played predominant roles in the 1857 revolt. The road leading to Patna airport is named Peer Ali Marg after a Muslim who took part in the revolt. Due to the 1970s movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan, Indira Gandhi lost the election held after the Emergency. Even in this movement, Muslims played a key role. Socialist revolutionary Taqi Rahim was the right-hand man of Narayan.
BJP’s Sushil Modi missing in new cabinet
In the new cabinet, even Sushil Modi, Deputy Chief Minister in Nitish Kumar’s previous (and prior) cabinet, hasn’t been included. On Monday, Kumar took the oath along with Tar Kishore Prasad and Renu Devi (likely to be deputy chief ministers) and 12 other ministers. These include Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Mewa Lal Chaudhary, Ashok Chaudhary, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Sheela Kumari, Mangal Pandey, Amarendra Pratap Singh, Ram Preet Paswan, Jivesh Kumar, Ram Surat Kumar, Santosh Kumar Suman and Mukesh Sahani.