Why should Muslims, Congress Party cry hoarse over Mulayam Yadav-Kalyan Singh bonhomie?

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[Pictures (1.) Sitting from Left to Right – Amar Singh, Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav; (2.) Scene of Babri Masjid demolition, (inset) Kalyan Singh; (3.) Standing from Left to Right – Azam Khan, Amar Singh, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and a SP leader.]

By Danish Ahmad Khan

Come elections – parliamentary or assembly, Muslims and Congress Party are back at their old game in Uttar Pradesh (UP) yet again. This time bonhomie between Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and erstwhile ‘Maulana’ Mulayam Singh Yadav and Babri Masjid demolition hero Kalyan Singh is raising the hackles of so-called secular Congress Party and poor, always-power-hungry Muslims. Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh minister Mohammed Azam Khan obliquely attacked powerful SP national general secretary Amar Singh on 20 February 2009 for hurting Muslim sentiments by ganging up with former UP chief minister and Babri Masjid demolition hero Kalyan Singh. Amar Singh is currently a Rajya Sabha MP while Kalyan Singh earlier led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, which spearheaded the Babri Masjid demolition campaign. However, Kalyan Singh resigned from chief ministership after the mosque was demolished in December 1992 and the Congress Party-led Central government under P.V. Narasimha Rao’s leadership imposed President’s Rule in the state.

Khan, who is national general secretary of SP, held a press conference to vent out his anger at Amar Singh without taking his name, which was obvious though. Khan said, “Some people who obtained Rajya Sabha membership with our support are busy tarnishing my image and harming the party organization. Such people, without having popular contact with the electorate, have been conspiring by framing false charges against me. But I shall defeat the designs of such conspirators who want to harm me and the Samajwadi Party ideology.” Khan is also currently the deputy leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.

“The Rajya Sabha member has hurt the feelings of the Muslim community by projecting Kalyan Singh as a great leader, extending open invitation to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and BJP leader L.K. Advani to join the Samajwadi Party, and promoting actress Jayaprada in the political arena,” Khan said, and asked how the Rajya Sabha member can dare to project Kalyan Singh as pro-Muslim. It may be recalled that Amar Singh had last month defended the party’s move to join hands with Kalyan Singh.

Despite SP chief’s advice not to air his grievances in public, Azam Khan chose to do so again within weeks when he burst out against his party for joining hands with Kalyan Singh. It seems that now Khan has ultimately made up his mind to give a jolt to his party during this election year by ultimately resigning from it in near future. Khan is apparently more peeved with Amar Singh. His anger against Kalyan Singh though is seemingly misdirected and just an excuse to get at Amar Singh at all costs.

Azam Khan and other Muslim leaders’ ‘genuine’ love for Indian Muslims
How much love does Azam Khan has for Muslims in his state as well as for those in his country can only be gauged from several of his past actions. Khan, who was the leader of Samajwadi Party in the state legislature, along with Amar Singh was instrumental in garnering support for the largest ever 98-member ministry led by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in October 2003. The ministry was installed after dethroning the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. To show his gratitude, Mulayam Singh Yadav rewarded 30 of the 40 BSP defectors with ministerial berths. Even the 14-member Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Kalyan Singh led 4-member Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP) managed to secure berths for half of their legislators. Kalyan Singh’s son Rajveer Singh alias Raju Bhaiya was also part of the ministry, which included Azam Khan who held an important portfolio. While staking claim to form an alternative government and urging state governor Vishnukant Shastri to dismiss the Mayawati government, Khan had then confidently claimed before mediapersons, "We have the support of 204 members in the 403-member state assembly. We have enlisted the support of 37 BJP legislators, who are fed up with the party and the government. We also have support of 14 independents and the Left parties. Congress Party is also giving us outside support." Kalyan Singh after deserting the BJP during 2003 assembly elections formed his own political party RKP and extended support to SP and helped Mulayam become the chief minister. However, after a year he broke ties with Mulayam and rejoined the BJP in 2004. It was quite obvious that Azam Khan chose to disregard morality and the pangs of his Muslim conscience then in order to ally with Babri Masjid demolition hero Kalyan Singh to gain power anyhow after ouster of Mayawati-led government. Where was Azam Khan’s professed love for Muslims then particularly when the wounds of Babri Masjid demolition were quite fresh for the Indian Muslims? Why is Azam Khan opposing Kalyan Singh’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party now? It may be recalled that Kalyan Singh’s son Rajveer Singh has again rejoined the Samajwadi Party recently when parliamentary polls are round the corner. He has also been made general secretary of the party. Kalyan Singh, who was BJP vice-president, has also resigned from all party posts on 20 January 2009. He has also expressed his desire to campaign for the Samajwadi Party and independently contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Besides Azam Khan, there are other Muslim Samajwadi Party leaders who have vehemently opposed the current Mulayam Yadav-Kalyan Singh deal. Prominent among those are 5-time Lok Sabha member Saleem Sherwani, Rajya Sabha member Shafiqur Rehman Burke and sitting SP MP Haji Akhlaq from Meerut. Khan has already gone on record denouncing Mulayam’s deal with Kalyan Singh. “Kalyan Singh is a hardcore Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) man who was directly responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. How can I brush shoulders with a man like him? What has led Mulayam Singhji to go for such an alignment,” Khan said.

Even Saleem Sherwani has made up his mind to quit Smajawadi Party and would be contesting Lok Sabha polls from Budaun constituency in the state as an independent. Sherwani has won from this constituency for five times. However, now Mulayam Singh Yadav has ignored Sherwani’s claim to the seat yet again and has decided to field his own nephew Dharmendra Yadav from here this time. Earlier, Dharmendra Yadav won the last election from Mainpuri where he earned notoriety for allegedly furthering his personal interests and neglecting the constituency. Budaun constituency weighed heavily on Mulayam Yadav’s mind since it has about 316,000 Yadav votes and 290,000 Muslim votes. Considering the majority Yadav votes here Mulayam thought of gifting this constituency to his nephew on a platter. Sherwani now sees Mulayam’s move as yet another example of extending family rule and ignoring his interests. This has apparently angered Sherwani greatly, and thus became the sole reason for him to question alliance with Babri demolition hero Kalyan Singh. This is also for the first time that Sherwani has raised Kalyan issue, which he ignored on umpteen occasions. This simply shows he doesn’t have any genuine love for Muslims but for his own interests only.

Azam Khan’s other misdemeanors; likens Rahul Gandhi to a “Pig”
Several of Azam Khan’s actions can be cited that would expose him for what he really stands for. Khan, who was then Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister and a prominent Muslim face of Samajwadi Party, had raised the demand for a separate ‘Muslim Pradesh’ in Western UP on 16 July 2006 during a public meeting at Ghaziabad. This was done keeping assembly elections in view in order to counter the influence of coalition partner Rashtriya Lok Dal and to subvert RLD chief Ajit Singh’s demand for ‘Harit Pradesh’ in the region. Azam Khan very well knows the current fate of Muslims that has befallen them ever since the partition of India and the creation of a separate Islamic nation of Pakistan. As such, instead of ameliorating the sufferings of Muslims in his state and the country, Azam Khan chose to raise a separatist demand, which would have certainly done no good to his Muslim brethren.

On 1 July 2007, one Zulfiqar Khan lodged a police complaint against Azam Khan for constantly issuing life threats and encroaching his agricultural land for construction of the new Tehsil building in Madar Kohna area of Rampur district. Besides Khan, the police FIR was lodged against the then District Magistrate Mohd. Mustafa, Tehsildar Shamshad Hussain, and a Public Works Department executive engineer under section 109, 119, 120 (b), 226, 174, 177, 341, 192, 217, 431, 442, 447, 506, 383, 384, 389, 430 and 432 of IPC. In another case, Azam Khan was booked for illegally constructing a boundary wall and blocking way to the Mohd. Ali Jauhar University on 29 June 2007. Yet another case was registered against Khan for assaulting villagers near the Mohd. Ali Jauhar University in Rampur on 23 June 2007. Khan is the Chancellor for Life of Mohd. Ali Jauhar University, which was created by Mulayam Singh Yadav during his chief ministership. Further, Khan was booked under another case on 14 June 2007. The case related to the seizure of 500 sewing machines and 400 blankets from Samajwadi Party office in Rampur that was allegedly purchased from the District Urban Development Agency funds when Khan was Urban Development Minister. The purchase was done keeping in view of the elections. Thus, at least four cases were registered against Azam Khan within a period of 17 days.

Azam Khan’s misdemeanor doesn’t stop here only. It seems Khan needs to get some lessons in propriety and public decency. Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan likened Rahul Gandhi to a “Pig” at a public rally in Ghazipur in eastern UP. On 26 April 2007 Khan had told his audience in Ghazipur that if Rahul Gandhi referred to the Babri Masjid as a mere structure, he would look worse than a pig to him. Khan’s crass comment was telecast by a TV channel much to the chagrin of Samajwadi Party.

What lies in store for likes of Azam Khan and Congress Party?
It is obvious now that Muslim leaders like Azam Khan, Saleem Sherwani, Shafiqur Rahman Burke and Haji Akhlaq are serving their own interests rather than those of Muslims. And, without any tinge of shame whatsoever they find it suitable to oppose Mulayam Yadav-Kalyan Singh deal whenever they find the goings becoming tough for them. Their present opposition should therefore be seen in this backdrop only and not out of any genuine love for Muslims. Azam Khan has been finding himself marginalized ever since Amar Singh entered into Samajwadi Party and gradually became powerful. Earlier, Mulayam Singh-Azam Khan duo used to hog limelight more on the political horizon of Uttar Pradesh. But things admittedly are now different for Azam Khan with Amar Singh capturing his prized space alongside ‘Netaji’ Mulayam Singh Yadav. For Azam Khan, the climax has now reached as far as his political career with Samajwadi Party is concerned. It’s ‘Now or Never’ for him to save his flagging political career, and end uncertainty or becoming irrelevant rather sooner than later in state politics. With Amar Singh at the helm in the party even Saleem Sherwani, Shafiqur Rahman Burke and Haji Akhlaq are facing the same fate of Azam Khan.

When seen in a perspective, Azam Khan however finds the going tougher when compared to other Muslim leaders. With his voices of rebellion being raised against the party at intervals, it looks imminent that Khan is going to quit the Samajwadi Party and jump on to the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party’s bandwagon as the general elections approaches near. Given his “Pig” remarks against Rahul Gandhi, it rather looks highly improbable that Azam Khan would even dare to approach the party to gain entry at least for now. It is also unlikely that Congress Party would admit Khan so soon in the party fold. Other Muslim leaders, being political weathercocks that they are, may join Bahujan Samaj Party or even Congress Party, depending on their own circumstances.

However, why should it matter for any one of them, whether they earlier backed the alliance between Babri Masjid demolition hero Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav, or they now join Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party or Congress Party. Muslims across the country have still not forgiven Congress Party for its role in the demolition of Babri Masjid during the prime ministership of Narasimha Rao. Mayawati’s actions are also suspect in the eyes of Muslims. They simply refuse to forget Chief Minister Mayawati’s campaign for Chief Minister Narendra Modi during 2002 Gujarat assembly elections after the worst ever massacre took place in the state against Muslims. Not a single Muslim minister resigned from the Mayawati cabinet after she returned having campaigned for Narendra Modi. Mayawati is also famous for joining hands with Bharatiya Janata Party whenever need be. After all, it shouldn’t be of any concern to Muslim leaders or Congress Party as such to support Kalyan Singh or Mayawati as long as it suits their interests. The ultimate sufferers remain none else than Indian Muslims because they have genuine love for their leaders who prove to be rude betrayers instead leaving the community forlorn, uncared for, hapless morons as ever.

Posted by Unknown on 2/24/2009 10:49:00 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

1 comments for "Why should Muslims, Congress Party cry hoarse over Mulayam Yadav-Kalyan Singh bonhomie?"

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