SP goes into overdrive to woo Muslims,Kalyan waits

SP believes all is not lost,especially after Sunday's win in Bhadohi,where Muslims voted for the SP despite aggressive wooing by the BSP.

Written by Alka Pande | Lucknow | Published:March 3, 2009 11:51 am

With talk of a Muslim backlash gaining ground as elections draw near,the Samajwadi Party is going all out to woo the community back. Kalyan Singh has taken a backseat in the SP campaign strategy,even as the party on Sunday inducted former Jamiatul Ulma-e-Hind (JUH) chief Maulana Asad Madani’s son Masud Madani into the SP fold.

The party believes all is not lost,especially after Sunday’s win in Bhadohi,where Muslims voted for the SP despite aggressive wooing by the BSP.

The announcement of Masud’s induction was made at a press conference organised by Madani at the India Islamic Centre in Delhi and attended by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and general secretary Amar Singh. Masud was earlier in the Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP),set up by Kalyan after he was expelled from the BJP.

His elder brother Mehmood Madani is a Rajya Sabha member belonging to the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) whereas younger brother Maudood joined the BSP this year.

Announcing that Madani was joining the party,the SP used the occasion to release a CD showing the BSP’s “close association” with the BJP,including footage showing Mayawati sharing the dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and tying a rakhi on BJP leader Lalji Tandon’s wrist.

Apparently,no one in the party in Lucknow was aware of either Madani joining the party or about the CD to be shown at the occasion. Madani is reportedly expecting an SP ticket from Muzaffarnagar.

Amidst all this hectic poll activity,Kalyan has been pushed to the background. While his son Rajvir was made the SP general secretary,the party is now silent on whether he will be given a Lok Sabha ticket,the basic point on which Kalyan parted ways with the BJP.

“He was asked to contest from any place he wanted but so far there is no decision from either side,” said SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary.

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