Muslim leaders from the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) on Sunday shared a common platform in an attempt to expand their support base among the Muslims in Jaipur. They were speaking in a conference ‘Challenges before the Muslim community’ held at Birla Auditorium. The leaders held UPA-2 in the Centre and Congress in state responsible for poor condition of Muslims in the state.
CPM MP Mohammad Salim said Gehlot government should answer Muslims as to why it failed in granting reservation to them as promised by their government in the Centre. “Congress can never do well for Muslims. The party uses them during elections luring them with fake promises,” said Salim.
The apathy of Muslims was one of the main reasons CPM left UPA-1, said Salim while indicating that his party can play a role in creating a third front in Rajasthan. He asserted that they will fight for Muslim reservation with all like-minded parties.
“Only reservation can change the life of Muslims, like it did in the case of SCs and STs,” added Salim, whose views were echoed by BJP MLA Younus Khan. Khan strongly advocated reservation for Muslims.
He said, “Rangnath Mishra Commission report should be implemented without any delay.” The infamous Gopalgarh riots matter, which claimed 10 lives refuses to fade from the human memory. This issue was raised by all speakers claiming it to be a reflection of the state government’s attitude towards Muslims. The state assembly elections are scheduled in December 2013.
Prominent socio-religious organization Jamait-Ulema-Hind also shared the dais with political leaders. Jamait had already threatened to uproot the Gehlot government if they failed to deliver justice to Muslims in the Gopalgarh riots case.
Wahid Khatri, a senior member of Jamait reasserted the body’s earlier claim of attacking Congress in elections. He also indicated Jamait’s change in view by praising former chief minister Vasundhara Raje for releasing religious clerics arrested in connection with the Ajmer blast.
“The iron lady of Rajasthan Vasundharaji did a lot for the welfare of Muslims,” added Khatri.
Jamait leader Mahmood Madni is a Rajya Sabha leader and has strong political leanings. The Jamait enjoys a very large following in Rajasthan.