Muslim bodies urge voters to defeat ‘non-secular forces’

BJP’s Lucknow candidate Rajnath Singh with VK Singh, in Lucknow Wednesday. BJP’s Lucknow candidate Rajnath Singh with VK Singh, in Lucknow Wednesday.

Several Muslims organisations in Uttar Pradesh have made an appeal to voters from the community to defeat BJP candidates. Voting for 12 seats in the state would be held today.

Some bodies have even opposed SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, highlighting a picture of him shaking hands with BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party vice-president Kalyan Singh. In Lucknow, organisations such as the Tehriq-e-Umar, Muslim Youth Brothers, etc are distributing pamphlets in Muslim-dominated areas and making their plea in local Urdu newspapers.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, led by Maulana Arshad Madani, has also issued an appeal to Muslims titled ‘Qaum Ke Liye Eik Aham Paigham’. In it, Madani said it is the responsibility of secular forces, especially Muslims, to unite and defeat non-secular forces. Madani warned that not uniting against communal forces and division of Muslim votes would help such forces.

“It is true that we have issued such an appeal. I have done it on two earlier occasions as well. It is our duty to defeat communal forces,” Madani, who is known to share good relations with Mulayam, said.

“There are several secular parties like SP, BSP, Congress and others in different states. We have appealed to vote for candidates of these parties who can defeat BJP,” he said.

Another organisation, the Ittehad Social Foundation, has issued a similar appeal, together with pictures of Mulayam with Modi. Mohammad Ismail Khan, the president of the outfit, said this is meant to stop the BJP and the SP from winning. “We have issued our appeal so Muslims become aware and know the real face of Mulayam, who has failed on Muslim issues,” Ismail said.