The Samajwadi Party (SP) has drawn up plans to reconnect with UP’s Muslims to undo the perceived damage caused by its brief flirtation with former BJP leader Kalyan Singh.
The name of Kalyan Singh does not find a good reception among the Muslims because he was Uttar Pradesh chief minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992.
Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav has apologised to the Muslims on the issue of befriending Singh. In his written apology, Yadav had mentioned his role as chief minister in protecting the Babri Masjid in 1990.
The SP has planned a series of conferences in the state to tell the Muslims of its services to the community. A state conference will take place in Lucknow next month.
The next few months are going to be challenging for the SP. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court will give its judgment on the title suit in the Babri Masjid-Ramjanam Bhoomi controversy in September. With the Vishwa Hindu Parishad deciding to mobilise people on the temple issue from August 16, the Muslims will look to Yadav for his reaction and support.
The party has also decided to hit hard the Congress-led central government for “not acting” on the Sachar and Ranganath Mishra Commissions reports, which highlighted the plight of the Muslims in the country. The party has reportedly contacted members of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for this.
“These reports are going to be the core of our manifesto,” SP leader Ahmad Hasan told Hindustan Times on Monday.
However, the party has been cautious on taking back expelled leader Mohammed Azam Khan because Muslim legislators of the SP are opposed to the idea.
While keeping Muslims leaders, including clerics, in good humour, the party has been trying to effectively reach out to the “aam Musalman” (common Muslims).
“The response from the common Muslims has been very good,” Ahmad Hasan said.
Busloads of people belonging to various Muslim organisations are pouring in every day at SP headquarters in Lucknow.
While prominent Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad said the Awam (people) should decide the issue, Naib Imam Eidgah Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli prefers to wait and watch. “We will see Yadav’s moves for the political empowerment of the community,” Khalid said.