TO REACH out to Muslims and widen its base among the community, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided to hold Muslim conferences at the divisional level over the next two months. The first conference is likely to be held in Saharanpur in the first week of December.
The BSP leaders are quite enthused over the Muslim community’s response at the Agra conference, which was organised by general secretary Nasimuddin Sidiqque in September last.
Highly placed party sources told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the conferences were aimed at “exposing the BJP-SP nexus” in the State.
While dispelling apprehensions in the mind of Muslims, the BSP would assure the community that it was committed to their welfare. Sources said the party would apprise the community of its basic approach and expose “vote bank” politics of the ruling party.
The party would go put before the Muslims that during Mayawati’s 15-month regime the BJP had crumbled considerably, but the saffron brigade got a boost of late because of its hobnobbing with the ruling alliance.
The BSP move comes as the party is well aware that Muslims constitute about 17 per cent of the State’s population and played a decisive role in 120 assembly seats.
The recent civic election had given ample indication about the community’s growing disenchantment with the SP. Moves are thus afoot in the SP to win back the trust of the community. Even though the SP made desperate efforts to keep the community in good humour with the help of ulema (clerics) and other mullahs, it failed to get positive electoral response in the civic poll. The SP also provided sops to these clerics. In Lucknow, Bareilly, Allahabad and some other places in western UP despite both Shia and Sunni clerics silently campaigning for the SP, the community by and large voted for the Congress. Thus Muslims have given clear signal that clerics could no longer influence the voting pattern.
The BSP thus feels that direct interaction with the community could help in garnering their confidence. Proposed Muslims conferences are aimed in that direction. firstname.lastname@example.org