The message: We do not want to vote for a political party just to defeat communal forces

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, thousands of clerics came together on Saturday to send an “unequivocal” message to the political parties that “Muslims will not vote for any particular party only because of fear of communal forces.” The idea was the dominating issue discussed at a conference here organised by an influential organisation of Muslim clerics, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH). The meet also passed a resolution demanding, among other things, that the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill be passed immediately.

Arshad Madani, president of JUH, said: “We want to tell the political parties very frankly that we are no body’s vote bank. We do not want to vote for a political party just to defeat the communal forces. We will vote for political parties which positively work for the socio-economic development of the Muslim community. We are for work and not negative politics.”

Specifically highlighting the acknowledgement of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati about the importance of Muslim votes, Maulana Madani said: “The SP government knows how important was the role played by Muslim votes in giving the party such an unprecedented majority in the Hindi heartland. If it wants to continue to have the confidence of the minority community, it must act on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission reports.”

Demanding that the Communal Violence Bill be passed, Maulana Madani said: “No communal riot can go on for a long time without the inefficiency and in some cases complicity of the local law and order agencies. That is why if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is serious about preventing communal riots, it must pass the Bill which ensures the accountability of the district administration.”

“A strong law against communal violence was promised by the Congress party in its manifesto. If there is some political constraint coming in the way of passing of the Communal Violence Bill, then the party should at least pass and implement the law in the Congress-ruled States,” he demanded.