Samajwadi Party draws ire for ignoring Muslim leaders in RS polls

Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi Barelvi said the community deserved two seats for consistently supporting the principal Opposition party in Uttar Pradesh

Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh is under fire from Muslim religous leaders for not nominating any Muslim among the three candidates named by the party for Rajya Sabha polls. President of the All India Muslim Jamaat, Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi Barelvi, questioned the party over this, adding that the community deserved two seats for consistently supporting the principal Opposition party in Uttar Pradesh.

Razvi called out the SP’s “anti-Muslim attitude” in a letter to the party brass. “I want to bring in your notice a few ground realities. You made a pichada, Dalit and alpsankhyak (Backward Classes, Dalits and Minorities or PDA) grouping, running your campaign on the basis of it. You are fully aware that 98% Muslims voted for the SP in the 2022 Assembly elections, helping its MLAs to win many seats in an election where many communities, including your own, drifted towards the BJP. Despite it, you chose not to nominate even a single Muslim out of three seats in the Rajya Sabha, while the community deserved two seats. I am pained with this anti-Muslim attitude of yours,” he wrote in the letter.

He further claimed that SP had weakened the INDIA bloc as it was not readdy to accomodate a national party such as Congress. “Due to your attitude and offer of fewer seats in the upcoming parliamentary polls, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) led by Jayant Chaudhary was forced to join the BJP. We are hearing of you doing same with the Congress. The Congress is a national party with governments in many States. Despite that, you are trying to give lesser and weaker seats to the grand old party. It is not right. The Muslim community will not remain silent if such attempts are made to tacitly help the BJP,” the letter reads.

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On February 13, the Samajwadi Party announced the candidacy of former MP Ram Ji Lal Suman, retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Alok Ranjan, and Bollywood actor Jaya Bachchan for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh. The candidates submitted their nomination papers at the State Assembly complex, accompanied by SP president Akhilesh Yadav, general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav, and others.

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