AT A time when Muslims have been trying to chart out an independent political course causing ripples in the ruling Samajwadi Party, BJP vice-president Kalyan Singh using temple issue has targeted the community with ‘we-don’t-need-your-vote’ and ‘Muslim-harbouring-terrorists’ harangues.
The efforts to whip up communal passion could thus upset the community’s political plan and force them to stay with the SP. It could certainly be music to the ear of Singh’s benefactors in present dispensation in the State. There is a feeling in political circle that the BJP’s Hindutava agenda is thus a boon in disguise for the SP.
Whether Singh succeeds in reviving the temple issue or not is debatable, but the strategy could work in favour of the SP as it could stop Muslim migration from the party. However, Naib Imam Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rashid said Singh would not be able to whip up communal passion.
With communal tempers fairly cooling down in the State during the last few years, was a flurry of political activity in the community. In a move to distance itself from the SP, the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and the UP United Democratic Front (UPUDF) were launched recently.
In ‘peace time’ the community, yearning for more, started feeling disenchanted with the SP. It was amply reflected in the statements of both newly floated outfits. But as Kalyan Singh is determined to ignite ‘Hindutava ki Jawalamukhi (volcano of Hindutav)’ in the run-up to the assembly election, the community could be forced to rethink about its strategy.
Since SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had provided protective umbrella to the community, there was a massive mobilisation in his favour during the last assembly and the Lok Sabha elections. Traditionally, in order to stop the BJP Muslims voted en bloc in favour of the SP. While the Congress had been marginalised, Mayawati’s hobnobbing with the BJP created suspicion in the community.
But during the last few months, Muslim leaders’ diatribe against the SP had given ample indication that there was undercurrent against the ruling party. This forced the Chief Minister to launch a massive damage-control exercise. Even All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) chairman Mualana Rabe Hasani Nadvi made public appearance along with Yadav at the SP’s Rampur function.