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BSP move guided by local compulsions

BSP fielded its MP Afzal Ansari to speak on and oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, and he reiterated Mayawati’s stand that the bill was anti-constitutional.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 11, 2019, 08.21 AM IST
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The desertion of Muslim voters is seen as a key reason for the party’s disastrous performance in the recent bypolls, in which the BSP failed to win a single seat.
NEW DELHI: Mayawati’s decision to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament has political significance in Uttar Pradesh, as an outreach to Muslims, especially after her Bahujan Samaj Party was seen as having let down the minority community on issues of triple talaq legislation and abrogation of Article 370.

BSP fielded its MP Afzal Ansari to speak on and oppose the bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, and he reiterated Mayawati’s stand that the bill was anti-constitutional. “Not accepting a person in India just because he is Muslim is dividing people in the name of religion,” he said. “We voted against the CAB,” Ansari told ET. “Our stand on various bills is based on the issue. So while we abstained from voting on the triple talaq bill, we had voted in favour of abrogating Article 370 but voted against CAB,” he said.

This follows her move last month to appoint Muslim leaders to senior posts in the party – Danish Ali again as the party’s leader in the LS and Munquad Ali as the party’s state president.

The desertion of Muslim voters is seen as a key reason for the party’s disastrous performance in the recent bypolls, in which the BSP failed to win a single seat. The verdict was seen by observers in the state as a vote of no-confidence by Muslims in the BSP after the party abstained from voting during the passage of the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha and went on to vote in favour of government on the issue of abrogating Article 370, which granted special status to J&K.

The Samajwadi Party, which had taken up the cudgels against the government on both issues in Parliament, is projecting itself as the true representative of Muslim interests. At a party meeting last month, Mayawati had impressed upon her cadres to take the message to people that she did not act under the BJP’s pressure or direction on triple talaq or Article 370.


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