SP plays Muslim card ahead of LS elections

Apparently wary of ‘discontent’ among the Muslim community in the western Uttar Pradesh districts in the wake of communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav played the Muslim card ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Akhilesh promoted three Muslim ministers, who were from the western districts, and inducted another Muslim face in the cabinet expansion on Friday.

The ministers promoted to the rank of cabinet ministers are Iqbal Mehmood, Mehboob Ali and Shahid Manzoor while Yasir Shah was inducted as minister of state.
Shivakant Ojha, who had been earlier nominated as a cabinet minister but could not take oath as he was abroad, was also administered oath of office and secrecy on Friday along with others.

Mehmood was an MLA from Sambhal district while Manzoor and Ali represented Meerut and Amroha districts respectively.

Samajwadi Party leaders here admitted that they had been promoted with a view to ‘placate’ the Muslim community in the western region.

The SP government has gone all out to woo the Muslims after the Muzaffarnagar riots.
There was discontent in the community over handling of the riots and later from the SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s remarks calling the inmates

living at the relief camps as agents of the Congress and BJP.

Angry over what they alleged the failure of the state government to ensure safety of the minority community members, dozens of Muslim leaders of the party from Muzaffarnagar had offered to resign.

Besides sharp reactions to Mulayam’s remark had triggered a panic among the SP leaders and they later claimed that the SP supremo had been misquoted.
“Mulayam did not say that all the inmates were agents of congress and BJP. He only said these parties did not want the inmates to return to their villages,” said a senior SP leader here.

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