As 250 Islamic clerics from SAARC countries and the UK converged in Deoband for two days for a peace conference,it was as if a man called Narendra Modi isnt angling for Indias PM post and riots hadnt ripped through Muzaffarnagar,30 km away,barely three months ago.
Participants at the conference organised by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind refused to be drawn into conversations about politics,the homosexuality debate or the riots. But privately,many JuH functionaries conceded that Modi magic seemed to be working at the national-level. It may be difficult to stall the BJP unless there is a concerted effort to put together a third front. Some Muslims will vote for BJP but essentially Muslims will tend to veer towards local alternatives like Trinamool in West Bengal, said a participant.
There was also a feeling that Delhi Muslims may have been spooked by Modi into voting for Congress but should a re-election happen,they would vote for the AAP.