After distancing himself from former BJP leader Kalyan Singh, the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has launched extenstive exercise to regain his old title of "Maulana Mulayam". With this aim the SP has started "Mission Muslims in the entire state to win over confidence of the community.
Yadav has also geared up to take on the rival political parties including Congress and BSP on the Muslim issue .
The presidents of district and city units belonging to the Muslim community have been directed to hold meetings in the Muslim dominated areas and tell them that Samajwadi Party always stood for the well being of the community.
He is the same Maulana Mulayam who took on the Congress and BJP to save the Babri mosque. The then Congress Prime Minister Narasimha Rao failed to protect the mosque from the saffron brigade.
In the meeting the SP leaders would raise demand for the reconstruction of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, lifting the ban on SIMI, demanding judicial probe over Batala House encounter and to make the reports of Liberhan Commission and Sri Krishna Commission public.
While party leaders are optimstic that Yadav's call for Babri masjid reconstruction would attract the community, outside the party there is hostile reaction. there is feeling in the community that raising such an emotive issue would help the BJP to reagin strength in the state.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board member and senior adovcate pleading Babri case in High Court Zafar Yab Jilani said "we want quick disposal of the case". We have never demanded its reconstruction".
However the city president of Moradabad unit Kaiser Ali Quddus told HT "I am holding street corner meetings in the city. We call upon the Muslim community to forget and forgive ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) over the issue of friendship with Kalyan. Yadav had realized his mistake and shown Kalyan the door. The day Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that there is no place for Kalyan in SP the city unit took out a rally that passed through the Muslim dominated areas. Earlier fearing reprisal from the community we had stopped visiting the area”, he said.
The city president of Kannauj Kalim said to win the confidence of Muslim community "we are highlighting the programmes launched by Mulayam Singh Yadav for the welfare of the community when SP was in power. At the same time we are telling the Muslims that it was Congress government that opened the locks of the Babri masjid. Though BSP had completed over two years in power it had done little for the community".
SP MLA from Sambhal Iqbal Mahmood and MLA from Pilibhit Riyaz Ahmed said the majority of the muslim MLAs and leaders have told Mulayam Singh Yadv not to open door for rebel Muslim leaders including Azam Khan. Be it Khan, Salim Sherwani or Sahfiqur Rehman Barq they left the SP on personal ground . Instead Mulayam Singh should promote those Muslim leaders who stood with him during crisis.
The district president of Mau Altaf Ansari said after Kalyan Singh joined hand with Mulayam the Congress and BSP leaders tried to create confusion among the community. They enchased the ire of Muslims during the Lok Sabha election as well as during Vidhan Sabha by-election. Now Muslims have started realizing who is their well wishers and we will work hard to win them back from Congress fold.
The district SP president of Aligarh unit, Jaimullah said in the meetings "we are telling the Muslim community that Mulayam has broken relationship with Kalyan but Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Nirupam who was involved in Mumabi riots is very much a member of Congress party".
In Gorakhpur two Muslim leaders Nawabul Hasan and Adil Khan have joined SP on Wednesday. More Muslim leaders are yearnng to return back to SP said the city president Sahab Ansari.. We are also holding meetings with influential ulemas and maulanas”, he said.