Muslim leaders in UP are a divided lot during the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. They are divided in their support of different political parties vying for their votes.
UP polls 2017 are full of apprehensions and every individual has his own opinion about which party to support and who is the right candidate.
As we interacted with some religious representatives to know their opinions about the candidates, we realized that there are significant differences among Muslims on the issue. They were asked as to which candidate would they support and appeal voters for support in the UP elections.
Among those interviewed by them were Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Abdullah Bukhari. He expressed dissatisfaction with most candidates and questioned their merit for support and votes. He said that “parties consider the Muslim population mere props in the celebration of their victories”.
Bukhari went on to say that their work in favour of the Muslim population is insignificant. The only thing that is visible of their efforts is the boundary wall around the graveyards to protect the dead Muslims. Despite these disappointing facts, he urged Muslims to vote only after proper consideration and thought.
On the other hand, from the Shia community, Maulana Dr. Kalab Sadiq refused to support a single political party. He stressed that he would support only the party that works and aids in their development. He is still waiting to decide upon one party.
Religious leader Kalab Jawad is forthright in his opposition of SP-Congress and their alliance. He claims that while one party ruled in Markaz, the other stayed in Uttar Pradesh, but none managed to bring about any good for the Muslims. Kalabe Jawad seems to be supporting a third unnamed party indirectly.
Another prominent person, Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali is openly supporting SP-Congress alliance and is appealing voters to support the two parties. He is of the opinion that these parties have worked for the welfare of the whole society and not for any one religious community or sect. Since the society comprises of many religious communities, when work is done for the society, all benefit.
(Translated from Inquilab)