The pressure on the Samajwadi Party (SP) from the Muslim community over its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s bonhomie with former BJP leader Kalyan Singh increased on Tuesday. Nearly 100 ulemas (clerics) warned Yadav to be careful in his friendship with the “Babri Mosque breaker”.
In fact, the revolt by party general secretary Mohd Azam Khan over the issue has deepened the crisis in the party.
Desperately trying to retain his image of ‘Maulana Mulayam Singh’, the SP chief held a four-hour-long closed-door meeting with the ulemas on Tuesday.
Even though he clarified that Kalyan had not joined the SP and there was no pact with him, the clerics said they would not tolerate the two leaders sharing a platform during the Lok Sabha elections.
Assembled under the banner of UP Muslim Convention at the SP headquarters, the ulemas said lingering doubts in the minds of the community should be clarified. Maulana Yasin Akhtar Misbahi said that even though Kalyan Singh had been making efforts to weaken the BJP, he was not acceptable to the community.
“We don’t want the mosque protector (Mulayam) and breaker (Kalyan) on one platform,” Misbahi said after the meeting. He said Yadav had assured the clerics that he would respect the feelings of the community.
Party leader Amar Singh met some clerics from Deoband but the Darul Uloom said they were not associated with the influential Islamic seminary. Singh met Maulana Salem Qasimi who runs the seminary Darul Wakf, not far from the Darul Uloom. “Singh told us that Kalyan Singh has not been formally inducted into the SP but his support has been sought to defeat the BJP,” Qasimi said from Deoband.