CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav came in for sharp attack for not doing anything for the welfare of the minorities and backward classes during a seminar on the “Share of Minorities, Backwards in UP’s Governance” here on Saturday.
Leading the attack, chairman of the Islamic Council of India, Qari Miyan Mohd Mazhari lambasted Yadav for overlooking the interests of both the OBCs and the Muslims. “The Rs 15 crore sanctioned for minority welfare schemes is still lying unutilised,” said Mazhari, adding that like others Yadav too had taken the minority community for a ride by making false promises to them.
“We should not depend on others to improve our lot. Instead, it is time we closed ranks by coming together on a single platform to get our due share in governance,” he said. The UDF, he said, was floated precisely for this purpose and was not a religious outfit. Its aim was to achieve political unity by bringing together various backward castes and minorities under one umbrella to wage their political struggle.
A magazine ‘Secular Qayadat’ was also released on the occasion. Stressing the need for a similar alliance among the minorities and the OBCs, retired IAS PL Punia said opportunists who indulged in vote bank politics should be taught a lesson. “Together with a population share of 25 and 30 per cent respectively, the minorities and the backwards can become a potent political force to achieve their objectives,” he said.
UDF leader Yusuf Qureshi agreed, stating that the minorities were almost always given a raw deal irrespective of the regime or political party that was in power. He reminded the gathering that God helped only those who helped themselves.
While expressing concern over their social and economic status, senior Congress leader Sanjay Singh, however, had a different take on the issue. “No single political party can be blamed for the present state of affairs,” he said.