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2002: Indian Muslim Statements
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Indian Muslim Statements during 2001 click here
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Mushawarat Deplores Prime Minister’s Statement
On Tactical Voting by Muslims 
Advises him to Calmly Consider Reasons for Rejection of his Party by Secular Forces

New Delhi, 11 February, 2002
: Mr Syed Shahabuddin, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), has issued the following Statement:

"The AIMMM deplores and fails to understand Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s uncalled for criticism of the voting pattern of the Muslim community, except as an expression of his pique over the total electoral rejection of his party by the Muslim community in successive elections, since the BJP was born.

The AIMMM requests him respectfully to make an honest effort to understand why this is so and why it is that his party has fielded only one Muslim in UP against 403 seats; why its Manifesto has nothing to offer to the Muslim community which is feeling frustrated and helpless against the demonisation campaign launched against it and its institutions in the name of internal security; why the majority of people of the country reject his party’s claim of commitment to Secularism and Social Justice; why, in fact, they regard the BJP as a communal party; why the Muslims continue to regard its major adversaries in UP, namely, SP, BSP and INC as secular, notwithstanding their inadequate record; and why is it that their political objective today is to do all they can so that the BJP does not return to power.

Assuming that as the top BJP leader Shri Vajpayee does not care to undergo the embarrassing self-examination, the AIMMM would like to know how tactical voting by the Muslims – massively and unitedly -- generally for the strongest candidate constituency-wise of any secular party who can defeat the BJP – irrespective of his religion, can be termed as anti-secular or anti-democratic or politically improper or constitutionally questionable.

The AIMMM would also like Shri Vajpayee to note that ever since independence, Muslims have generally voted for non-Muslim candidates of one secular party or another and for different secular parties in different States and that they have accepted non-Muslim national leaders as their leaders and that today they see their security and dignity threatened by the Sangh Parivar, whose political front the BJP is, and their future in the survival of the secular order.

Since the BJP makes every effort to divide Muslim votes and thus win even Muslim concentration seats with non-Muslim candidates, the AIMMM has , on this occasion, recommended to the Muslim voters in about 75 Muslim concentration constituencies of UP to vote preferably for the strongest Muslim candidates put by SP or Congress and the BSP with the rider that since the BSP is regarded as a possible coalition partner of the BJP, its candidates and leadership should pledge not to help formation of a BJP government.

The AIMMM reminds Shri Vajpayee that in order to secure their due place in polity, economy and society and to resist hostile majoritarian pressure, all over the world, minorities – religious, ethnic or linguistic, vote unitedly. But the AIMMM finds it amazing that ever since its formation, the BJP itself has been engaged in consolidating the Hindu vote bank of the majority community, by inciting anti-Muslim sentiments, by injecting fear and distrust in the mind of the people and by its political propaganda against the Muslim community holding it responsible for what it calls ‘historic wrongs’.

The AIMMM hopes that Shri Vajpayee was not threatening the Muslims for voting as they wish to and feels that if his purpose was to demoralise the Muslims into dividing their votes in every Constituency, for the benefit of the BJP, such a direct onslaught on democratic freedom would not succeed."

Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 632 6780 Fax: 632 7346
 Email:  q



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