Muslim outfit charges Mulayam with 'betrayal'

Muslim outfit charges Mulayam with 'betrayal'

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s “resolve” to “take on” the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in eastern Uttar Pradesh suffered a serious jolt when an Azamgarh-based prominent Muslim outfit announced that it would contest against the SP president at Azamgarh.

Ulema Council of India, which had been formed soon after the Batla House encounter in Delhi in which some Azamgarh youths had been killed, announced on Saturday that its chief Maulana Amir Rashadi Madni would be contesting against Mulayam from Azamgarh.

Maulana Rashadi accused Mulayam of “betraying” the Muslims and said that the Muslims had to face “persecution” whenever the SP had formed government in the state.

He also alleged that the SP government had not taken effective steps to check communal violence in Muzaffarnagar. “The state has witnessed several incidents of communal violence during the SP regime,” he said. “We will not allow Mulayam to win,” Rashadi went on to assert.

Ulema Council had been on the forefront of demanding the immediate release of what it claims “innocent youths”, who had been languishing in the jails on terror charges. The Council had slammed Mulayam and his son’s government for failing to honour their promise to get the “innocent youths” released from the jails.

Ulema Council is said to have considerable influence over the Muslims in the Lok Sabha constituency. There are around 2.5 lakh Muslim voters in Azamgarh and their support could be crucial for Mulayam.

After Modi’s decision to contest from Varanasi, the SP had announced that its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav would also contest from Azamgarh apart from his traditional Mainpuri seat. The decision to field Mulayam from Azamgarh is said to be aimed at “preventing” Modi from making inroads into the SP strongholds in the eastern UP region.

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