Muslims should vote for Mayawati, says Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid

Lucknow: A day after the Rashtriya Ulema Council pledged its support to BSP, Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid Maulana Ahmad Bukhari on Thursday announced his backing for Mayawati's party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and accused SP of going back on its words

.

"Muslims should look for a political alternative in Uttar Pradesh and show exit route to this unjust Samajwadi Party that has gone back on its word. Otherwise, every political party will use Muslims like football for their own interests," the Shahi Imam cautioned, while declaring his support to BSP.

"Samajwadi Party had made promises but its performance is lamentable and it has been a cause of frustration for Muslims," he alleged, adding in the last five-years of SP rule, Muslims bore the brunt of deprivation, injustice and unemployment.

Over 400 riots took place in the state apart from those in Muzaffarnagar, Kosi Kalan, Mathura, Dasna and Ghaziabad, he said, and cited the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri and DSP Zia-ul-Haq in Kunda of Partapgarh and "emotional exploitation" of Muslims to put the incumbent SP on the dock.

"Many parties, including Samajwadi Party, think Muslims have no way but to vote for them. Muslims should dispel this misconception from their mind and must say that unless their problems are solved, they shall not let political stability prevail in UP," he said.

Muslims account for nearly 20 per cent of the electorate in Uttar Pradesh and can make or mar the electoral fortune of any party or its candidate in the high-stakes Assembly polls.

"It is so sad to say that Muslims from constituencies dominated by them kept on electing Yadav candidates to the Assembly and Parliament but Yadavs never vote for Muslim candidates," Bukhari rued.

Citing Samajwadi Party manifesto for 2012 Assembly polls Bukhari claimed promises like reservation for Muslims, implementation of Ranganathan Commission recommendations and Sachchar Committee reports, establishment of government educational institutes in Muslim-dominated districts, setting up of government Urdu medium schools were not fulfilled.

Alleging that "from police stations to every government department, Yadavs were recruited, but Muslims were discriminated against", he said, "Statements of Mulayam Singh Yadav admitting that Akhilesh Yadav has not fulfilled the promises made to the Muslims is a proof of it."

Bukhari's announcement has come as a boost to BSP, that had yesterday got support of the Ulema Council which withdrew its 84 candidates in favour of Mayawati's party.

PTI