By TwoCircles.net Special Correspondent,
Lucknow: With Lok Sabha elections in mind, the Samajwadi Party (SP) government led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav distributed red beacon status to two Muslims. The move is seen as an attempt by the CM Akhilesh Yadav to woo Muslims.
The Muslim leaders who have been given red beacon status include Abid Raza who is presently MLA from Badaun constituency. Raza in the past was also chairman of Nagar Palika, Badaun. Raza has been appointed as Chairman, National Integration Council and has been given cabinet minister status. He is close to cabinet minister Azam Khan. Another red beacon status has been given to Naved Siddiqui who hails from Lucknow. He has been appointed as Chairman, Sangeet Natak Academy. He has been given state minister rank. Naved is a former Radio Jockey and was with Akhilesh Yadav during electioneering.
In coming days several more Muslim faces of the party are in line for getting ministerial status. Hectic lobbying is on for getting various posts.
On the other hand, former CM of UP and Uttrakhand, Narain Dutt Tiwari has met several Muslim leaders in Lucknow. Tiwari is camping in Lucknow at the request of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Tiwari met, Imam, AIshbagh Eidgah, Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli and Shia cleric Yasoob Abbas. The meeting is seen as an attempt by Mulayam to gauge the mood prevailing among the Muslim lerics.
Akhilesh government also took another decision in the state cabinet meeting on Saturday thereby initiating a new scheme for providing free houses to poor Muslims. Known as Asra Housing Scheme, the Muslims living in urban slums will be given free homes. The houses will be of 25 square meter area including a room, a verandah, a kitchen and a bathroom. The houses will be constructed by the State Urban Development Agency. They will handed over free of cost to the poor Muslims. The condition being that the monthly income of the Muslim should not exceed Rs 6000 per month and he should be a resident of urban slum. If the number of applicant exceeds, the houses will be awarded through lottery system. Akhilesh government already is doling out Rs 30000 to Muslim girls who have passed high school. A budgetary provision of Rs 250 crore has been made for this scheme known as “Hamari Beti Uska Kal.” There is a target of benefitting 830,00 girls in this scheme.
However state spokesperson of Samajwadi Party Rajendra Choudhary ruled out any possibility of appeasement of Muslims by the party. Choudhary when contacted claimed that SP and Muslims share very close relations. Both of them trust each other. He stated that Mulayam Singh Yadav has always advocated for job and honour to the community.
He also stated that Mulayam did not care for his government while saving Babri Masjid and when the court’s decision came, Mulayam had stated that country will run by constitution and not faith. He always stresses for implementing Ranganath Mishra commission and Sachar Committee report. Choudhary claimed that Akhilesh Yadav’s government has also constructed a National Integration House in Noida which has the residential facility for 100 students from Muslim community who are preparing for civil services. A similar house is under construction at Mohan Road in Lucknow. Choudhary also informed that Akhilesh government has increased the budget of Muslim Welfare department from existing 1214.48 crores to 2345.11 crore which is an increase of over 93 percent. “It reflects our sensitivity towards Muslim community and secularism,” Choudhary stated.
However, there has been no movement by the government on its promise to release innocent Muslims falsely accused of terrorism charges.