For almost a fortnight Urdu papers in UP have been carrying at leastÃ‚Â one front page advertisement daily about the benefits to Muslims during the Samajwadi Party rule vis-a-vis Congress.
Of the 25 cabinet ministers 5 are Muslims in state (=20%), of the 37 Lok Sabha members of SP 7 are Muslims (19%), of the 16 Rajya Sabha members 4 are Muslims (=25%) and of the 186 MLAs, 26 are Muslim (nearly 15%)—a historic representation, never given to community in the past. Besides, for the first time in 59 years, the top positions in state like Commissioner Higher education, Subordinate Selection Board, Chief Information Commissionr an Advocate General have been given to Muslims.
Above is the text of one such advertisment. True, it is undeniable that Muslims (18.5-19% of UP’s population) were never given such representation inÃ‚Â the state under 40 years of Congress rule. Clearly, SP is in the election mode. The foundation stone of Mohammad Ali Jauhar university has been laid. And similar other plans/schemes are being projected every day. Surely, CongressÃ‚Â faces herculean taskÃ‚Â if it wants Muslim voters to switch back to the party.
Now another advertisement says, ‘When wearing a skullcap or sporting a beard had become a crime and every darhi-topi wala was a suspect in Congress ruled states, administration in UP remained just, unbiased and sensitive towards minorities, there were no illegal detainments,Ã‚Â and the state alsoÃ‚Â remained peaceful. The arrest of tablighi jamaat members in neighbouring Congress-ruled Uttaranchal and action on Masood Madani, who was tortured by police, seem to have affected the image of Congress. In coming months the pitch would be raised higher and the fight for Muslim votes would intensify. Let’s see if the MY combination still reigns or the BSP manages to rope in Upper Castes and get back the power in UP.