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SP plan to keep Muslims in good humour

THE RULING Samajwadi Party has launched twin-strategy to keep the well-entrenched Muslim community in good humour in the State. While it has been cautiously carrying out drive to tap prevailing Muslim anger against Danish cartoons against Prophet Mohammad and India?s vote against Iran at IAEA, it has also offered ?budgetary sops? to deflect anti-incumbency factor in the community. The Danish cartoons and Iran issues have been mixed up to create hostility against the Congress in the community.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 01:29 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

THE RULING Samajwadi Party has launched twin-strategy to keep the well-entrenched Muslim community in good humour in the State.

While it has been cautiously carrying out drive to tap prevailing Muslim anger against Danish cartoons against Prophet Mohammad and India’s vote against Iran at IAEA, it has also offered ‘budgetary sops’ to deflect anti-incumbency factor in the community. The Danish cartoons and Iran issues have been mixed up to create hostility against the Congress in the community.

On the forefront are those Muslim Ulema (clerics), both Sunni and Shia whose proximity with the ruling establishment is well known. There appears to be race among the clerics to help promote the political game plan of the party.

While one group of clerics last week organised a huge rally here on the twin issue, another group has now been gearing up for demonstration on February 19.

Lucknow has been an epicenter of Muslim politics for the State. Signals from here could play vital role for all political parties aspiring to chase this section.

The clerics have been moving around in the Muslim-dominated areas during the last few days to mobilise the community for the rally, which would commence from Tile Wali Mosque to the State Assembly. Diehard anti-Congress clerics have taken command of the movement against the UPA Government. Prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad has already announced to lead a protest march in Rae Bareli and Amethi against the Congress on Iran issue. The SP has also decided to hold a statewide demonstration on Iran tomorrow.

Giving religious colour to nuclear issue the clerics have directly targeted the Congress for India’s vote against Iran. Though, UPCC president Salman Khurshid made effort to convince the community about the party’s commitment to Iran, the clerics hue and cry has drowned his voice.

He has also not been able to mobilise pro-Congress clerics to counter the rivals. By opposing India’s vote right from the beginning the SP has cleverly demonstrated that it only cared for the community. The entire exercise is aimed at holding the Muslim vote bank in the election year.

Among other pre-poll largess, enlarging the scope of the Kanya Vidyadhan Yojana (scholarship scheme), which is one time payment of Rs 20,000 to girl students to Madarsa girls of Aalia level and upgrading the payscale of 4,500 madarsa teachers, are deft political moves to keep the hold intact.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 01:29 IST