THE MUSLIM Vikas Manch (MVM) of Haj and Minorities Welfare Minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, in association with the UP United Democratic Front (UPUDF), is making a concerted effort to win over Muslims in western UP.
As a result, the Jat-Muslim combination of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) appears to be in a shambles.
Qureshi, along with Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari, UDF chief Yusuf Qureshi and other leaders, on Sunday stormed RLD chief Chaudhury Ajit Singh’s bastion in Baghpat to address community members. In a counter-move to keep his support base intact, Ajit Singh also organised a rally in the town.
With the RLD facing the anti-incumbency factor, the MVM-UPUDF has been making efforts to stop migration of Muslim votes from the RLD to the BSP.
The minister said the UDF would play a major role in the Assembly election in western UP.
He told Hindustan Times on the phone that the Baghpat rally had given enough indications about a change in the minority mindset. However, the MVM-UDF has been going soft on the RLD to keep the doors open for a pre-poll alliance. The Jan Morcha Alliance (JMA) of former Prime Minister VP Singh may also be part of such a tie-up. Qureshi said no party could take the Muslim community for granted in western UP. He said the MVM-UDF’s mobilisation of the community had caused consternation in all the political parties.
The minister repeated his charge that the State Government had done nothing for the welfare of Muslims.
Qureshi said there was no response from Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to his letter to put 100 madarsas on the grant list. He accused Anil Kumar, principal secretary to the chief minister, of hampering welfare measures for the minority community. He alleged files were not being shown to the chief minister.
He said the MVM-UDF was trying to raise awareness among the community so that a strong leadership could emerge in the State.
He said the State Government had failed on all fronts. The minister also assailed security agencies for killing Maulana Zubair of Muzaffarnagar on the charges of terrorism.