With eyes on 2014 elections, Akhilesh woos Muslims

The next Lok Sabha elections may be a good two years away, but the Samajwadi Party (SP) has already working to woo the Muslim community and is leaving no stone unturned to appease them.

Akhilesh may have failed to check the shooting crime graph or provide power to the people and forced to reverse many of his controversial decisions like allowing the legislators to buy luxury cars from the area development fund but he has been assuring the Muslims that the government will do everything possible for their development and improving their lot.

The chief minister has also been trying to strike an emotional chord with the muslims whenever he gets a chance to speak to them. “I can never forget your support to SP in the elections....my father (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has an emotional relationship with you,” he told the members of the community at a function here on Saturday.

“We do not bother about or criticism for taking steps for the welfare of the Muslims” Akhilesh said.

No wonder the chief minister has directed the officials to focus on the old city areas in the state capital, where the Muslims are in sizeable numbers. He has also declared that a committee will be formed to study the recommendations of the Sachchar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission and implement them in the state.

Ever since the SP has formed its government in the state, several measures have been announced for the welfare of the community. It was evident in the state budget for the current financial year also.

The government hiked the allocation for the minority welfare by a whopping 81 per cent in comparison to the previous year. It announced a series of steps, including financial assistance for the marriage of girls and maintenance of graveyards, to help the community. The SP has been clamouring for 18 per cent reservation for the Muslims in the government jobs.

“If the SP wants to play a role in the government formation after 2014 lok sabha polls, it will have to win a good number of the 80 lok sabha seats in UP and without the support of the Muslims it is not possible,” said a senior SP leader here.

Muslims, which constitute around 20 per cent of the state's electorate, play a decisive role in around 25 lok sabha seats in the state.

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