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    Samajwadi Party wooing muslims ahead of UP polls; demands separate quota in government jobs


    Days after the Union Cabinet, bowing to the demands of the Muslim clergy from the state, exempted madrasas from the right to education

    NEW DELHI: With elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly just around the corner, competitive politics among three “secular” contenders — the Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress — to woo the Muslims is set to intensify.

    Days after the Union Cabinet, bowing to the demands of the Muslim clergy from the state, exempted madrasas from the right to education, SP demanded a separate quota for the community in government jobs “in proportion to their population”.

    Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, in fact, rejected the quota-within-quota proposal mooted by Union law minister Salman Khurshid, who had suggested that backward Muslims be granted reservation in government jobs from within the quota earmarked for the OBCs.

    “This will be betraying both the Muslims and the OBCs. There should be separate quota for the Muslims, which should be commensurate with their population. Also, there should be no discrimination among the community members along caste and class lines while deciding the beneficiaries,” the SP chief told ET on Thursday.

    With the Election Commission getting ready to set the ball rolling for the next round of electoral battle, competition among the three “secular” parties for capturing the Muslim votes — about 15% of the electorate — has hotted up.

    On AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s prodding, the Cabinet had on Tuesday cleared the proposal exempting madrasas from the Right to Education Act. The demand had been on top of the agenda of Muslim clerics for sometime now.

    In fact, it had become a major bone of contention between the Centre and All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, as the latter feared that extending the purview of RTE to madrasas would lead to government control and interference in the functioning of the institutions.

    The issue, however, was resolved after Gandhi met board president Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi in Lucknow on Tuesday. Maulana Nadvi is rector of Nadwatul Ulema, a leading Islamic seminary.

    Not to be left behind, SP has mounted an aggressive campaign to win back Muslims. The community had been steadfast in its loyalty to Yadav’s outfit since the peak of the Ayodhya movement. But, recently, it had shown signs of gravitating back towards Congress.

    Incensed with the SP supremo’s dalliance with ex-chief minister Kalyan Singh — the erstwhile Hindutva posterboy who held the reins of UP when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 — a sizeable chunk of Muslims had backed Congress in the 2009 general election.

    In keeping with this endeavour, SP members, led by Kaushambi MP Shailendra Kumar, on Thursday rushed to the well of the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour and later at 2 pm, seeking permission to take up the issue of Sachar Committee recommendations and their implementation.

    Their voices, however, were drowned in the din caused by NDA members, who were demanding home minister P Chidambaram’s resignation.
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    1 Comment on this Story

    Rk3368 days ago
    Why this reservation. I don't understand the concept of reservation. I think government should pull out all the reservation. why compromising with quality. stop vote politics. ooh to whome I am addressing. politicians are the worst thing which has happend to India. they will never change but certainly change the fate of India's future to dark.
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