Why was Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav forced to cancel his trip to the Aligarh Muslim University on Monday? Rediff.com's Sharat Pradhan reports
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s all out bid to woo Muslims in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections received a big jolt with the cancellation of his visit to Aligarh Muslim University.
What was worse was that the cancellation had to be done following vehement opposition by the faculty and students alike.
Even well-known AMU alumnae Azam Khan, who was UP’s most powerful minister and the SP government’s widely recognised Muslim face, was unable to prevail over a defiant AMU lobby opposing Mulayam’s proposed plan to address a seminar organised by Sir Syed Movement Forum in the university campus on Monday.
The seminar was aimed at drawing the central governments attention to a long-pending demand for according AMU a minority status.
Those threatening to boycott Mulayam’s show wanted to know, “why Mulayam had suddenly woken up to this demand only on the eve of elections and that too at a time when he had lost much of his credibility with the Muslim community?”
At a meeting held on the campus on Saturday, AMU Teachers Association had passed a resolution to boycott Mulayam’s visit even as Samajwadi Party spokesman and state Jails Minister Rajendra Chaudhary sought to pass the buck to the organisers.
Chaudhary said, “In fact, netaji (Mulayam) had not confirmed his program, as he was very busy; the organisers made a premature announcement. So many times, tentative sanction is given and organisers don’t care to seek a confirmation.”
According to him, “there was no question of anyone opposing netaji’s visit to the AMU.”
Significantly, a strong lobby of students led by former AMU students union president Syed Umar Ahmad Qadri even took out a protest rally on the campus declaring, “We will not only disallow Mulayam’s entry into the campus but hurl shoes at his cavalcade in case he tries to force his entry.”
He went on to add, “How can we allow someone to address a serious seminar on our campus when we have seen how he was responsible for the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and around where Muslims were the worst sufferers.”
Mulayam was, however, not available for comment.