The feud within the Samajwadi party may benefit BSP in splitting loyal Muslim votes. The dispute has created doubts in the minds of Muslim voters and many of them may choose to go with BSP this time around.
According to Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Maulana Salman Nadvi and Shahi imam of Jama Masid, the ruckus in the family is damaging party’s image amongst the Muslims who has been a loyal vote bank for SP over the years.
Nadvi also said that he would have liked to see a replica of the Bihar type ‘mahagathbandhan’ but in the present scenario it seems like a vague hope. Thanks to the family feud, the Muslim votes seem to be slipping out of the hands of SP and would benefit Mayawati’s party. He also said that it would also benefit BJP looking at the bigger picture.
Syed Ahmed Bukharis termed the ongoing ruckus as “unfortunate” and a dent for the internal party matters. He suggested that Mulayam and current chief minister Akhilesh yaday need to discuss the matters peacefully in order to resolve their differences. The party has already suffered enough and it needs to be solved before the Muslims lose faith in the functioning of the party.
Backing his CM, Bukhari further added that Akhilesh yadav should be given more power since he is the face of the party and has been the chief minister for four and a half years now. He pointed that the outsiders have tried to fuel the dispute between Mulayam and Akhilesh.
Bukhari has always had a love hate relation with Mulayam and even announced to support their major rivals in BSP for the upcoming elections. He then changed his mind in the end and backed Akhilesh yadav to be the CM yet again.
Cleric Maulvi from Barelvi, Maulana Tauqeer Raza said that the current situation is likely to work in the favor of BJP. The split in the party also means that many Muslim voters could go with Mayawati and there is a slight possibility that we could see a BSP-BJP coalition after the polls. Although he also took a dig at Akhilesh by stating that he should have not talked back to Mulayam as he did.
Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhochhvi, a leader of the Sufi Sunni Muslim body said that they may have to rethink about who they are going to support this elections. With the ongoing tussle for power within SP, the party seems to have forgotten the people who supported them in the past. Even though he did not give a clear indication about whom they will support but he said that the final decision will be taken by the organization after the meeting on 1st November 2016.
Maulana Rasheed Farangi Mahali, another cleric of Lucknow who is also a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said that it is too early to predict a major vote bank shift of the Muslims towards BSP. Muslims are loyal towards Akhilesh yadav and hoping for the feud to settle down once and for all.
“Samajwadi party has always been the first choice of the Muslim community UP despite many of the promises and assurances remaining unfulfilled. The family feud has confused the community and many of the Muslim voters may vote for BSP just because they do not want a BJP govt in the UP” said Shakeel Samdani, Professor in the Aligarh Muslim University.
He also added to his statement that apart from the loyal Muslim community, Akhilesh may also get the votes of non active and floating voters because he has a clean image in the state politics and is also seen as a young and dynamic leader who leads from the front.