Amita Verma, Asian Age Correspondent
Wednesday, 27 March 2013. The denials issued by the Samajwadi Party about its growing closeness to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have apparently had little impact on Muslims who seem to be getting restive about their support to the SP.
Muslims in the state feel that the recent statements made by SP leaders reflect their growing proximity to the BJP and the subsequent denials hold little meaning since they are merely aimed at “fooling Muslims”.
“First, it was Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav who said that NDA was far better than UPA and then Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav praised Mr L.K. Advani and termed him as an ‘honest man’ even though it was Mr Advani who led the Rath Yatra and paved the way for the demolition of the Babri mosque.
This cannot be a mere coincidence and Muslims can easily see through the game. The Samajwadi Party is definitely inching closer to the BJP,” said Shehla Khan, 42, a school teacher in Allahabad over phone.
While most clerics are maintaining a studied silence on this, it is the common Muslims who are readily speaking out against the Samajwadi Party.
Dr Maroof Khan, a reader in a degree college at Sultanpur, said that the Samajwadi Party was getting increasingly desperate about the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and its posture indicated that it could even join the NDA if the latter came to power.
“TV channels leave no scope for leaders to deny or retract their statements. Everyone can see and hear what they have said that they can no longer blame it on the media. Muslims will not be fooled this time and there is no doubt that we are feeling let down by the Samajwadi Party,” he said.
Dr Qamar Siddiqui, a physician, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party continues to be anathema for Muslims and the living generations will neither forgive nor forget the Babri demolition.
“How could the Samajwadi leaders even think of heaping praises on BJP leaders? There was a time when Mr Mulayam Sigh Yadav would not even be seen with the BJP leaders and now he is publicly heaping praises on them. We have forgiven him for joining hands with the likes of Sakshi Maharaj and Kalyan Singh but this is beyond our apprehension and we have begun to doubt the Samajwadi Party’s secular credentials,” he said.
Muslim clerics, on the other hand, continue to remain undecided on the issue. A prominent Sunni cleric, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We do not wish to draw any conclusion. Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has an impeccable record on secularism and we prefer to wait and watch before taking any decision. We have no reason, at present, not to accept the denials.”