A minister in Akhilesh Yadav cabinet has favoured an alliance between the ruling Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led BSP to take on the BJP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, similar to the Grand Alliance in Bihar where rivals RJD and JD(U) came together to decimate the saffron party.
“Zaroor banega, zaroor banega, inshallah (God willing, an alliance will come into being here also, like in Bihar),” UP minister Fareed Mahfooz Kidwai said.
“Meri dua hai. We will definitely defeat BJP and form our government,” said Kidwai, who was recently elevated as Minister of State (independent charge) and allocated technical education.
Like Bihar, BJP had swept Uttar Pradesh also in Lok Sabha election last year and the party is hoping that it will return to power in the politically crucial state after nearly 15 years.
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SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had played the role of a peacemaker between the two backward class heavyweights —- RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his friend-turned-foe JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar — and they decided to contest the polls together as part of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). However, Samajwadi Party had later pulled out of the Grand Alliance.
A five term legislator, Kidwai is a known party hopper. Presently he represents Kursi Assembly seat in Barabanki. He had been a BSP MLA in the past but was expelled from the party ahead of assembly polls in 2002. he rejoined the BSP in 2007 and was elected a legislator on party ticket. In 2012, he switched sides and joined SP. Kidwai, is related to former union minister and Congress stalwart late Rafi Ahmed Kidwai.
Prior to Kidwai, minister Shivpal Yadav also had favoured forging grand alliance in UP though he did not comment on forging ties with BSP.
Kidwai also commented on cow slaughter in UP stating that it was very nominal. “We have stringent laws for cow slaughter. It does not occur. Cow meat is haram for Muslims. But as crimes like theft, dacoity and murders occur, it (cow slaughter) too occurs nominally,” he said.
Kidwai made the statements after attending the national unity function organized by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) in Barabanki on Saturday. JUH president Maulana Arshad Madani, who is close to SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, also favoured forging of a grand alliance between the ruling party and the BSP in UP to defeat BJP.
“Why only UP, it should also done in West Bengal. If there is unity and elections are contested as an alliance, they will win. If for personal interests and due to BJP’s conspiracy it does not occur, then the scene will be different,” Madani said.
Madani, who usually adopts a soft stance for Mulayam, however, claimed that Akhilesh Yadav’s government has failed to fulfill all its poll promises for Muslims. “It can’t be said that they did not do anything. But many things have not been done like the promise of 18 per cent reservation to Muslims. If there is any legal restriction, then at least 3.5 per cent can be given. If not in jobs, reservation can be given in education,” he said.
Madani also targeted the Narendra Modi government at the Centre alleging that that it was giving shelter to fundamentalist. “They are themselves fundamentalist but blame Muslims,” he said.