Published On:07 June 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Muslims losing faith in Akhilesh; SP in damage control mode

By Alka Pande

Lucknow: It has not been happy news for the Samajwadi Party on the Muslim vote bank front in recent times.

There have been more than 20 cases of communal clashes and riots after its government stormed back to power mostly on the strength of the community’s support. A middle level Muslim police officer died after being attacked by supporters of an MLA close to the party’s leadership not long ago and the government was seen sympathetic to him. BJP leader Varun Gandhi got a clean chit from the court in the communal hate speech case after all witnesses turned hostile mysteriously. There have been talks of connivance of the state government in his acquittal.

Not long ago there was the mysterious death of Khalid Mujahid, an accused in the serial bomb blasts of 2007 in police custody. Of course, the government has not lived up to its promise of withdrawing terror charges slapped on Muslim youths by the earlier dispensation.

Surely, the community is losing faith in the Akhilesh Yadav government. It is no more willing to buy platitudes from SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. The latter should be worried since he is targeting more than 50 seats in the parliamentary elections and without the Muslim support he won’t reach even half the number. In that case his prime ministerial ambition goes for a toss.

No wonder, the party is in the damage control mode. Last week, the ruling party announced the names of its three Muslim candidates, who were nominated in place of candidates from other castes. The government accorded the state minister status to a cleric Mohammad Tauqeer Raza Khan, who had been involved in various controversies. For the record, Khan had contested the last assembly against the SP candidate. Earlier, the party has cleared hefty compensation to the family of the dead Muslim police officer and secured a job for a family member in the Home department. It has also declared a new holiday in the name of Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti.

Are all these efforts enough to make the Muslims happy? Not quite.

“A large segment of the Muslim population understands that the SP is only misleading the whole community. The ruling party is not talking about education, poverty, housing and other such issues of the Muslim population. The fact is that all the schemes are aimed at garnering votes. Since its inception the government is playing the appeasement politics and it has touched its peak now,” says BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

The government has launched a couple of schemes providing money for Muslim girls’ education. Promptness has been displayed in the distribution of laptops and tablets first in the schools dominated by Muslim students. But there are no schemes for the general welfare and uplift of the community. Worse, the government was not able to spend more than 50 per cent of the last year’s budget under the minority welfare head.

Only recently SP minister Azam Khan claimed that the previous government—BSP’s—diverted major portions of the Minority Welfare fund to parks and memorials. Yet, the government appears reluctant in making a move against any of the accused in the parks and memorial scam case, despite getting the report of an inquiry conducted by the Lokayukta indicting the Mayawati government.

“The fact is there has been no solid move by the government so far for the welfare of the minorities. The help has not come in any concrete form. They are in fact fooling the Muslims,” says social activist Sandeep Pandey, who had been confronting the government on making the Nimesh Commission report public.

The Nimesh Commission was formed under the Mayawati government after the arrest of Khalid Mujahid, an accused in the serial bomb blasts in courts in Lucknow and Faizabad in 2007. The commission submitted its report in November last.

“If the Nimesh Commission report was made public (it challenges Khalid’s arrest from Barabanki in 2007 and indicates his innocence), it would have reopened the case and Khalid might have been saved,” Pandey argues. Incidentally, the post mortem report of Khalid has mentioned the cause of death as ‘uncertain’. Treading carefully on the issue the government is though trying to get it proved that the death was a natural one, confirm sources.

Whatever the development, the community’s anger over the issue is not likely to subside immediately. An influential section of the community, which is also close to the SP,, however, prefers to shift the blame somewhere else.

“The government is making decisions relating to Muslim welfare but the bureaucracy is not implementing them. For example, the case of the release of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi, Sajjadur Rehman and Mohmmed Akhtar, was not pursued properly in the court and the result is in front of everyone,” says Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali.

“But the problem is that the common man cannot differentiate between the government decisions and their implementation by the bureaucracy. Hence, if the schemes that have been announced are not fulfilled, it will be the ruling party which will face the music,” he adds. He says there is still time for the party to rectify the situation.

Some members say the biggest issue for minorities at the moment is reservation. “SP has said that the party is helpless as it requires constitutional amendment. But it has promised to support the Bill in this regard if it is tabled during the monsoon session. The stand of the political parties on the Bill will expose their faces. That will be their litmus test on Muslim issues and the community is closely watching,” one of the members said.

(Courtesy: FirstPost.com)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on June 07, 2013. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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