|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Muslim votes in UP will be divided: Clerics
March 15, 2007 18:51 IST
Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh will not favour a single party in forthcoming assembly elections, top ulemas (Muslim priests) said on Thursday.
"There will be a division in Muslim votes. They will not go in favour of any single party," noted Shia scholar Maulana Kalbe Jawwad told media persons in Lucknow.
Holding small Muslim groups responsible for a division in opinion, Jawwad said this has reduced the bargaining power of Muslims.
"There are many fronts and morchas of Muslims. These outfits are the biggest hurdles in uniting Muslims," he said.
Jawwad alleged all political parties, particularly the Congress, are responsible for the pathetic condition of Muslims. He said efforts by clerics to bring smaller Muslim outfits under one platform have failed.
"We failed in our efforts," he said, appealing to all Muslims to take up issues themselves and not depend upon any party.
Another well-known cleric Maulana Syed Mohammad Hashmi said Muslims should support those parties, which help in amending the constitution to provide reservation for Dalits and backward people of the community on the lines of Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Hashmi said Muslims should first decide which party will really work for the betterment of the community and then vote.
All India United Muslim Morcha state president M A Siddiq also demanded amendment in Article 341 of the Constitution paving the way for inclusion of Dalits and backwards among Muslims in the ambit of reservation in jobs.
Claiming Muslim votes are deciding factors in about 135 assembly seats, he said, "No party can form the government without the support of Muslims."
The clerics also took exception to Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's reported statement on Wednesday that Muslims cannot be kept in the category of Dalits for the purpose of providing reservation.