UP Elections: Why Mulayam would be naive to expect Muslims to only vote for SP

By Faisal Fareed, Twocircles.net

Why do Muslims vote for Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav?

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The obvious answer, at least for some, is that he remains their best bet for defeating BJP.

And what if Mulayam admits that his family members are hobnobbing with BJP? Shall Muslims reconsider their decision to vote for Mulayam?

If you turn back the pages of history, however, it will become clear that Muslims in UP, much like the rest of the country, were loyal to Congress as there was little opposition across the nation.

Sporadic socialist movements were taking shape and were getting some isolated success. The BJP or the Jan Sangh, as it was known in those days was also in its infancy. Socialist leaders kept on grouping and parting ways.

The major change came in 1989. It was the period when V P Singh resigned from Rajiv Gandhi’s ministry. He was projected for his honesty. And with that started another era of socialist leaders. Singh won bypolls from Allahabad defeating Lal bahadur Shastri’s son. The slogan—Raja nahi fakir hai, bharat ki takdir hai—reverberated with his symbol—anaj osata kisan. Soon, V P Singh became the PM, heading a National Front government with communists and BJP supporting it from outside.

And by that time Janata Dal also became stronger in UP. It won and Mulayam became Chief Minister for the first time.

From here the political cycle of Mulayam took a turn. And in the mid-term polls in 1991 (Ram Mandir movement), Mulayam contested officially on Janata Party and won 34 seats. He was with Chandrashekhar who too has become PM after the ouster of V P Singh. Till then Janata Dal was alive with 94 seats in UP.

Now, it was the best of Mulayam’s political acumen that he capitalised on the rise of BJP in the state. He quickly assembled MY-Muslim & Yadavs. A formidable combination which will give him roughly 25 percent vote in UP. In 1992 Babri Masjid was demolished and by that time, Mulayam formed his SP in November 92. Taking no chances, he aligned with BSP and became CM in 1993. Here his equation of MY has worked which was coupled with Dalits of BSP.

Since then Mulayam has kept Muslims to his fold with his statements which brought Muslims closer to him and eventually also made BJP stronger. From there till now, it was his only one line statement—we have taken this decision to defeat the communal forces—for all occasions. He supported UPA and justified it. He inducted Kalyan Singh’s son in his ministry and again justified it. Corporate and five-star culture entered his party and he again justified it.

After nearly 27 years, he is again banking on the same issue. His recent statements—”I ordered firing on Kar Sewaks in Ayodhya”—are on the same lines.

The strategy is simple: raise the BJP bogey and harvest Muslim votes.

But now things have changed. He has himself said that his cousin Ramgopal Yadav met BJP president Amit Shah four times for saving his son and daughter in law. Ramgopal’s son Akshay Yadav also wrote that Shivpal’s son’s wedding was attended by BJP leaders. Modi too arrived in Saifai at the wedding of Mulayam’s grandnephew. Shivpal termed Ramgopal as an agent of BJP.

With the family feud out in the open, and the Yadav family members exposing each other for their relations with BJP, there can be only two things. Either Mulayam is not speaking the truth or the Yadav family works in tandem with BJP.

In both these conditions, where do Muslims, who vote for Mulayam, to stop BJP stand? It is high time that Muslims emerge from BJP bogey as their Mulayam, also referred to as Mulla Mulayam also does not hesitate from hobnobbing with BJP.