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BSP joins race with SP to woo Muslims

WITH DANISH cartoon and India?s vote against Iran at the IAEA turning into political plank, the BSP has belatedly joined the race with the ruling Samajwadi Party to express solidarity with the Muslim community in the state and regain their trust. While the SP had been discreetly playing its card to tap Muslim anger on the cartoon issue, BSP chief Mayawati has come out openly in support of the community by demanding recall of India?s envoy to Denmark and asking the Congress-led UPA government to review its stand on the Iran issue.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 01:24 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

WITH DANISH cartoon and India’s vote against Iran at the IAEA turning into political plank, the BSP has belatedly joined the race with the ruling Samajwadi Party to express solidarity with the Muslim community in the state and regain their trust.

While the SP had been discreetly playing its card to tap Muslim anger on the cartoon issue, BSP chief Mayawati has come out openly in support of the community by demanding recall of India’s envoy to Denmark and asking the Congress-led UPA government to review its stand on the Iran issue. Mayawati has also directed party general secretary SC Mishra to study the legalities in restoration of minority status to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Interestingly, while wooing Muslims, the BSP chief has directly targeted the SP.

After making efforts to mobilise Brahmins by organising conferences all over the state, it is now “Mission Musalman”. The party has veered round to the view that Dalit-Brahmin-Muslim tie-up could become unassailable electoral combination in the state. But with the Muslim community by and large sceptical about the party because of its honeymooning with the BJP in the past, the possibility of emergence of this grouping appears to be far-fetched.

Though Mayawati is highly unpredictable in her political alliances the chances of the community selectively supporting the BSP candidates could not be ruled out.
While the SP apart from having known Muslim faces in the organisation has also succeeded in getting support of some prominent apolitical personalities, including ulema, the BSP lacks this support, which is vital for proper mobilisation of the community.

In the past, Dr Shafiqur Rehman Burq joined the BSP, which resulted into prominent clerics of western UP joining the Dalit bandwagon but with Burq’s departure to the SP to become Lok Sabha member from Moradabad the situation had changed. Rashid Alvi too left the party in disgust. Despite rivals’ efforts to pull down general secretary Nasimuddin Sidiqque from the helms of affairs of the party, he has so far succeeded turning the table on them because his staunch loyalty to Mayawati.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 01:24 IST