Udupi: I have not given any statement saying “people will not vote for candidates from the Muslim community” said Vinay Kumar Sorake, Minister for Urban Development and Minister in-charge District. He was speaking to Mangalorean.com on Monday February 8 at the Circuit House Udupi, after certain media reports of his statement alleging that he has spoken lightly of the Muslim community were published.
It is a deliberate attempt by some vested interests to misguide the voters. The minorities have always supported Congress and will continue to support the Congress in future. My views are secular and I will continue to support secularism. When an independent candidate in Puttur constituency organised a convention led by Madani and asked people not voting for the congress to raise their hands not a single person raised his hand in a gathering of more than 10,000 people.
When I resigned as NSUI president I suggested Salim Mohammed’s name. I also suggested Veronica Carnelio and M A Gafoor’s name for the president of various corporations, which was criticised. I have made serious efforts to give opportunities to the minorities.
The MLA’s of Udupi district have chosen candidates in their constituencies for the TP and ZP elections. We have chosen candidates after taking the party workers into confidence. During the last ZP elections there was no chance given to the Muslim community, but now we have given ticket to 2 TP candidates of the Muslim community. The 2 candidates are contesting in the By-elections in the state representing the Muslim community. 14 people in Shirva and 12 people in Padubidri had applied for tickets and after due consultations the list of candidates was finalised. Some vested interests are working hard to malign my name, it is not for the first time I have been subjected to controversies by these people. When the president of the Wakf board was chosen it was said that he was from the other party.
They should know that by maligning the Congress party’s image, there are indirectly helping the other parties. Udupi has catered to communal harmony, we desire that the same should prevail every time. He stressed and said, “I have not spoken lightly of the Muslim community”.
People desire to vote for the Congress party and it is witnessed due to the efficient administration of the Congress. We will assume power in ZP and 3 TP’s in the district.
While Jayaprakash Hegde was a independent MLA we had won 24 seats in the ZP, if his supporters contest in the elections we will still face the elections with confidence, he added.
In a meeting held at the Rajeev Bhavan in Kaup it was alleged that in a media report saying Sorake had said that if Muslims had contested in the ZP and TP elections no one would vote for them, it had created differences between the Muslim leaders. Of the 26 seats for ZP elections, 13 Billavas, 1 Christian, Mogaveera and Bunt community candidates have been given seats. Muslim community leaders are said to have complained to he District President for not being given a ticket.