Lucknow: Political parties are trying to strengthen their chances in UP election 2017 by threatening them with BJP victory if Muslims fail to support them. This is the case with all the leading secular parties in the state. Whether it is Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party, Mayawati led BSP, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi led Congress party or other smaller players in the fray.
Even Dr Ayyub led Peace Party and firebrand Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen are also asking Muslims to vote for them. They are assuring Muslims that they have real chance of winning in the state, though there is no chance that both these parties will even be able open their account. While Peace Party won four assembly seats in the last assembly election, this time there are chances that even Dr Ayuub will not be able to win his seat.
From BJP and Congress to regional parties, everyone is working overtime to win as many seats as possible in the state. Every so called secular party is claiming that it is in direct fight with the BJP to win assembly elections in the state. They also try to highlight the fact that a small division of Muslim votes will ensure BJP victory.
These political parties are talking of Muslim marginalization in jobs, politics and highlighting the failure of the state government in preventing ghastly riots of Muzaffarnagar in 2013 when around hundred Muslims lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes and take refuge in refugee camps. Some parties are also talking about reservation for Muslims and their ability to stop communal riots in the state.
It must be kept in mind that Muslims make 20 percent of the state population and can play a crucial role in the formation of the next government. Dalits make around 22 percent of the state population and Maywati is dreaming to bring Muslims and Dalits together to form the next government. She is working hard on this narrative.
Nonetheless she hasn’t been able to win Muslims’ confidence. This is solely due to her past dalliances with the BJP. This is despite the fact that she has kept far away from the saffron camp for more than a decade now. The fact that she has refrained from openly discussing Muslim issues is also one reason Muslims don’t really feel convinced with her approach.
Samajwadi Party, under Akhilesh Yadav had promised moon to the Muslim community. It had promised 18 percent reservation to Muslims. But after completing 5 years in office, the party didn’t take a single step to give even 5 percent reservation to Muslims, leave alone the talk of 18 percent reservation. Muzaffarnagar riots 2013 are also a blot on the face of Akhilesh Yadav government. It sat idly while Muzaffarnagr and surrounding towns burnt in communal cauldron. It will be very hard for the party to convince Muslims to believe on its promises once again. This may be the reason that Akhilesh is so desperate to ally with the Congress party. (Translated from Inquilab)