Facing resentment from the Jat community after the Muzaffarnagar riots,the Samajwadi Party (SP) is attempting to stitch a Muslim-Gurjar combination in western UP,which will be put to its first political test on October 22 at a sammelan in Saharanpur.
With Yadav votes missing in the region,the SP leadership will now bank on this new combination with Gurjars being the most dominant community after Jats in the western region.
A big rally of Muslim-Gurjar,too,is planned at a later stage,which will be attended by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as well as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The responsibility to organise the sammelan has been given to former MLA Imran Masood,who is also the nephew of jailed Congress MP Rasheed Masood,and minister of state for technical education Ram Sakal Gurjar.
The sammelan will be attended by nearly 30,000 people. I am confident that people,mainly Muslims,will realise that the SP government has done the most in providing relief operations after the riots. We understand the riots have affected them but we need to move ahead, said Masood,the organiser of the Muslim-Gurjar sammelan.
Masood joined the SP on September 15 and is the partys candidate from the Saharanpur parliamentary seat. Saharanpur is already dotted with hoardings announcing the Muslim-Gurjar sammelan.
Senior Gurjar leaders,who are now in oblivion,have been invited to the sammelan.
SPs national vice-president and former MP Choudhary Yashpal Singh,a Gurjar,is among the invitees for the event. His son,Rudrasen Choudhary,is in the organising committee.
The Gurjar community is with us. All their important leaders in the area will be on stage. We will pave a new path for the SP in the western UP, Imran said.
An invitation has also been sent to SPs national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for attending the sammelan. If we receive his consent,the numbers will swell to 50,000, he said.
In what is according more prominence to Gurjars,Minister Ram Sakal Gurjar has been given the responsibility of Saharanpur,Meerut,Muzaffarnagar,Ghaziabad by the party while he is also the in-charge minister of Bulandshahr.
In all these districts,we have a good number of Gurjars. We are getting tremendous support for the first time. Our meetings of Gurjar community are attended by thousands of people, Ram Sakal Gurjar said.
The SP has also roped in Nahid Hasan,who has been given ticket from the Kairana parliamentary seat. Currently,the seat is held by BSPs Tabassum Begum,who is Nahid Hasans mother .
Since they also belong to Gurjar community,there is no discrimination on religious grounds. The results will be different this time, Ram Sakal Gurjar said.