In order to reach out to Muslims to further widen its base in the community, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided to hold “Muslim conferences” at the divisional level in next two months. An action plan is being chalked out this connection. The first conference is likely to be held at Saharanpur in the first week of December.
The BSP leaders are quite enthused over Muslim community’s response at Agra conference organized by general secretary Nasimuddin Sidiqque in September last.
Highly placed party sources told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the conferences were aimed at “exposing BJP-SP nexus” in the state. While dispelling apprehensions in the mind of Muslims the party would assure the community that it was fully 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 to the community with the claim that while during Mayawati’s 15-month regime BJP’s base had crumbled considerably, the saffron brigade got boost under the present dispensation because of the its hobnobbing with ruling alliance.
The Muslims constituted about 17 per cent of the total population of the state and they always played a decisive role on 120 seats of assembly segments. Recently concluded civic elections had given ample indication about the community’s growing disenchantment with SP. Moves are thus afoot in the ruling party to regain the trust of the community. Even though the SP made desperate efforts with the help of Ulema (clerics) and other Mullahs to keep the community in good humour, it failed to get positive electoral response in municipal corporation elections.
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 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.