Not even a fortnight has passed since Imran Masood left the SP and BSP has once again given a jolt to the SP. After Imran Masood, another Muslim leader has joined BSP. This time the news came from the eastern region i.e. Purvanchal instead of the west.
The electoral plan being made by Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is not happy. Part of the plan is Muslim voters, who are still with the Samajwadi Party, but after a crushing defeat in the assembly elections held this year, the BSP is busy tying the knot with Muslim voters. This same Muslim love for Maya does not sit well with her opponents and other ‘traders’ of Muslim votes, while Mayawati once again wants to do the same thing she did in 2007 by wooing Muslim voters in the 2024 general elections. Assembly. It was done in the election, when the Bahujan Samaj Party formed a majority government in the state for the first time. It is another matter that then BSP gave the slogan Sarvajan Hitaya-Sarvajan Sukhai and used the ‘tadka’ of Muslim votes in it. But every election is different from the previous one.
The political events of the last few days are raising tension due to BSP supremo Mayawati’s Muslim love for Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. If Akhilesh does not manage to resolve these tensions before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the survival of the SP may be in jeopardy. BSP supremo Mayawati poses a new challenge for Akhilesh Yadav, who is troubled by the death of his father and the conviction of Azam Khan in a case. Mayawati is constantly drawing strong Muslim leaders of the Samajwadi Party to her court. This is the reason why the Muslim voters who stood with the Samajwadi Party during the assembly elections, are now leaning towards the BSP. This process, which started with the Azamgarh Lok Sabha by-election in Purvanchal, is slowly spreading to western UP as well. Muslims constitute about 20 percent of the population in Uttar Pradesh. Out of 403 assembly seats, Muslim voters influence the victory or defeat of any candidate in about 150 assembly seats, while Muslim voters prove decisive in about 50 seats. In the last assembly elections, the SP got the support of nearly 90 percent of the Muslim voters, but it did not get power, but now the situation is changing. Not only BSP, Congress and BJP are also trying to break the Muslim vote bank. Aam Aadmi Party and all other Muslim parties are also putting a thorn in Akhilesh’s path. The question is also being raised that BSP supremo Mayawati warned Muslims after the assembly elections were over that Muslims have made a big mistake by going with SP, equating Dalit-Muslim votes if the BJP is to be defeated. If necessary, are Muslims now correcting this mistake by staying away from the SP?
Regarding this change, the professor of Aligarh Muslim University says that now Muslims have started to understand the importance of education. He reads and writes. Now he is not ready to run blindly behind any party or leader. This has increased the difficulties for the Samajwadi Party. They are now looking at the work of development not in the name of religion. He is silently searching for his destination. It concerns development, education and health, so the division of Muslim votes cannot be ruled out, while SP MP Shafirqur Rahman Barke says that only SP has worried about Muslims and people have threatened Muslims. Other parties do not have the capacity to counter BJP’s communal politics. Burke says Muslim voters are understanding the politics behind the BJP’s Pasmanda convention. He knows that BJP is doing all this to divide Muslims. It is not a Muslim-friendly party. The matter is not limited to BSP alone. People are not taking Congress, BJP, Aam Aadmi Party and Owaisi lightly either. BD Naqvi, president of Social Consciousness Foundation and a former judge, says the SP has to change its tactics to make Muslims realize that it was with Muslims yesterday and will continue to do so.
Also Read: Mayawati taunts Samajwadi Party (SP) over bypoll results, will SP make new excuse for defeat
Apart from this, it is a matter of concern for him if the Muslim leaders of his party are leaving Akhilesh’s party for other parties and especially BSP. In the past, there was a big news for BSP from western UP, when SP leader of the area Imran Masood joined BSP. Masood left the Congress and joined the SP before the assembly elections, but Akhilesh did not give him any importance. There is a reason behind why this happened. In fact, Akhilesh did not want to offend his old leader Azam Khan by favoring Imran Masood, when Imran’s political power was no less than that of Azam Khan. Today Masood is far ahead of SP leader Azam Khan in terms of popularity. Masood realized that it would not be easy for him to make his place in the SP because of Azam. That is why it got blue color. Before this he had met Mayawati. On the other hand, BSP supremo appointing Imran Masood as West Uttar Pradesh BSP convener betting on Muslim votebank after joining BSP proves Imran Masood’s hold on Muslim community. As soon as Masood joined BSP, leaders like SP leader Ikram Qureshi of Moradabad, Rizwan, former MLA of Atraula Arif Anwar, former MLA of Firozabad Azim, former district president of Padrau Ilyas Ansari, Abbas Ali Chishti Mian of Ayodhya also joined SP. On the other hand, Irfan Malik, president of Owaisi’s party in Purvanchal, has also joined BSP.
However, it has not even been a fortnight since Imra left the SP and the BSP has once again given the SP a jolt. After Imran Masood, another Muslim leader has joined BSP. This time the news came from the eastern region i.e. Purvanchal instead of the west. Here AIMIM’s Purvanchal President Irfan Malik joined BSP. Like Masood, Malik also met Mayawati before joining the BSP. Irfan Malik is the son of late Kamal Malik, six-time MLA and minister from Dumariaganj. His arrival has started the same old debate once again. It is being said that the increasing inclination of Muslim leaders towards the BSP is a matter of concern for the SP. Regarding this, a Muslim SP leader said that the party not only lacks a strong face like Mulayam, but is also facing accusations of keeping silent on the issues of the Muslim community. The Bahujan Samaj Party has targeted the SP on this issue and is trying to reach out to Muslims with the help of Imran Masood, who is influential in western UP. On the other hand BJP is trying to reach out to Pasmanda Muslims to strengthen its presence. The SP leader said, “In the Azamgarh Lok Sabha by-election in June this year, things turned dangerous when BSP’s Muslim candidate Guddu Jamali got over 2.66 lakh votes and the SP lost its seat to the BJP candidate. The result shows that Muslims can choose another leader from their community. (Apart from SP) if they don’t get a good leader from SP.” Jamali had left BSP to join SP some time back and returned home and rejoined BSP before Azamgarh Lok Sabha by-election. Jamali had spoiled SP’s game in Azamgarh as soon as he joined BSP, when SP chief Akhilesh Yadav won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from here.
At the same time, all political pundits are seeing this changed attitude of Muslims as increasing difficulties and challenges for the SP. It is being said that the tension has increased in the SP camp due to the shift of Muslim leaders to the BSP. Due to which Akhilesh Yadav is also seen raising his voice more than before on the issue of Azam Khan. There is a general perception of Muslim voters that they will vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party, but eight percent of Muslims voted for the party in the Uttar Pradesh elections. Which is one percent more than the 2017 assembly elections. According to news agency IANS, this has been revealed in the CSDS-LokNiti survey. The Samajwadi Party got about 70 percent of the votes from this community.
The most surprising thing is that gradually BJP is no longer untouchable for Muslims. The survey shows that Muslim voters are ready to support the BJP, but also shows that cooperation is needed from both parties. The main reason why Muslim votes are going to BJP is that various schemes in Uttar Pradesh in the last five years have benefited them as much as Hindus or other religions. While a study of the Sacchar Committee report shows that supporting non-BJP governments did not benefit them. Their socio-economic condition has deteriorated from bad to worse.
– Ajay Kumar