Kalyan Singh’s proximity to the Samajwadi Party (SP) has rattled its Muslim leaders. They have virtually raised a banner of revolt against the party’s leadership bonhomie with the SP’s top leaders. Though Kalyan Singh has not joined the SP, he said recently that announced recently that he would work for the party in the Lok Sabha elections.
While the party has launched a massive damage control exercise, party general secretary Mohd Azam Khan, Moradabad MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq, former MP Shahid Akhlaq and others have voiced concern over the friendship between SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kalyan Singh.
Barq is reported to have said he would not be able to stay in the SP in the company of Kalyan. Akhlaq from Meerut has already announced his decision to quit the party. Khan, who assailed the leadership last week, is looking around for a viable alternative. There is also talk of party leaders floating a Muslim Morcha (Front). Yadav’s recent comments on a TV channel, giving a clean chit to Kalyan Singh in the Babri mosque demolition, have made things more difficult for Muslims in the SP.
Shaken by the rising dissension in the ranks, the SP leadership on Tuesday fielded Ahmed Hasan, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, to defend the leadership’s decision. Hasan told journalists that the SP was the mainstay for Muslims and their faith in the party had increased since Kalyan had turned towards the party.
About Azam Khan’s comments, Hasan said he (Khan) was a senior SP leader and would remain in the party.
“Muslims know that communal forces have been weakened by Kalyan Singh leaving them and tilting towards the secular Samajwadi Party,” Hasan said.