BSP CANDIDATES for the 2017 polls have started distributing a 56-page booklet — in Hindi and Urdu — among voters in Muslim-dominated areas, detailing the work the party has done for the community between 1995 and 2012 when Mayawati was in power. This comes at a time when the party’s Muslim face, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, his son Afzal, MP Munquad Ali and other Muslim leaders have been holding ‘Bhaichara Sammelans’ almost everyday to woo the community. Sources said the booklet was first published before the 2012 UP polls and has now been reprinted.
The booklet first describes the findings of the Rajinder Sachar Committee, documenting the poor condition of Muslims, whose support is being seen as crucial for the BSP to make a comeback in 2017. It also includes the works done by the party, most of which are routine decisions like appointment of Muslims in the government.
The booklet credits Mayawati with 12 achievements during her first tenure of around four months in 1995 — including controlling communal violence, creating a new minority welfare department and issuing OBC certificates for Muslims. In her second tenure of six months in 1997, she is credited with doubling the rate of scholarship for minority students and starting free coaching for students preparing for pre-engineering and CPMT, among others.
The booklet adds that Mayawati had done eight more works for Muslims during her 16-month tenure as CM between May 2002 and August 2003. These include starting 577 new primary schools and 144 senior basic schools in Muslim-majority areas, appointing three Muslims as Cabinet ministers and another one as MoS, independent charge.
During her last tenure as CM in 2007, she has been credited for 62 pro-minority decisions. These include constitution of UP Madrasa Education Board and UP State Haj Committee, starting Kanshi Ram Handloom Awards for weavers and direct flight service from Varanasi to Jeddah for Haj pilgrims of east UP. According to the booklet, she had constituted a task force to survey Wakf properties and restored tenure of mutawallis to three years.
The booklet further talks of the BSP’s decision to establish the Urdu Arabic Farsi University and issue orders for construction of boundary walls for security and upkeep of burial grounds.
The booklet adds that Mayawati wanted to do more for Muslims but her government could not take several decisions because of limited resources. Keeping this in mind, it adds, she had sought a special package of Rs 80,000 crore from Centre in 2007, but it was not approved.