‘Muslims have suffered under the Congress rule and in Gujarat under Bharatiya Janata Party’
Even as the Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday claimed that the people wanted a “Third Alternative” at the Centre in 2014 as the magic figure (majority) would elude both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he simultaneously “wooed” the Muslims by stating that the “Muslims have faith in the SP.”
At the SP’s State executive meeting here Mr. Yadav said his party has always fought against communalism and had championed the cause of secularism.
To improve his party’s ratings among the Muslims, he blamed the Congress for their condition. “The Muslims have suffered under the Congress rule and in Gujarat (under the BJP rule of Narendra Modi) they were massacred (“ qatl-e-aam ”), but the SP has given them respect,” Mr. Yadav said.
Till the Muzaffarnagar incident happened, the SP leadership took the Muslims’ support, as was witnessed in the 2012 Assembly elections, for granted. However, September’s communal clashes in the Western Uttar Pradesh town apparently upset the SP’s calculations. With the Congress expected to gain from the ruling party’s likely loss of Muslims’ support in 2014, there is a sense of unease in the SP leadership.
The political resolution adopted at the State executive meeting also attacked the Congress for ignoring the Muslims. The resolution, which was presented by the Prisons Minister and party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary, held the Congress responsible for the Muslims’ plight. While lauding the SP and the State government for taking several measures for the welfare of the minority community, the resolution panned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for its failure to implement the Sachar Committee report.
The resolution lauded the SP’s struggle for the cause of social justice. In this context, a resolve has been taken to ensure that 17 Backward Castes are included in the list of Scheduled Castes, the resolution said. It added that the BJP’s policies had failed. The SP would play a crucial and decisive role in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it said.
Addressing the meeting, which was presided over by State Chief Minister and SP’s State unit president Akhilesh Yadav, Mr. Yadav warned his party men that the “communal and divisive forces would not allow the SP to succeed, but it should be ensured that maximum number of party candidates are victorious in the 2014 poll.”
Mr. Yadav reiterated that neither the Congress, nor the BJP would get majority.
Mr. Yadav attacked the Congress and the BJP for conspiring against the SP. The Congress and the BJP followed anti-poor policies, he said. Mr. Akhilesh Yadav listed the achievements of his government and said several measures had been taken for the welfare of the poor, farmers, labourers, Muslims and the deprived sections.