Muslims of India's largest state float party
By Masood Hasan
Milli Gazette Online
16 May 2006
Lucknow: Emboldened by the success of the joint front of the Muslims in the assembly elections in Assam, several Muslim organisations have come together to float a new political party in Uttar Pradesh. Called "People’s Democratic Front"
(PDF), it will aim at sharing power in the state government.
The renowned Shia religious leader Maulana Kalbe Jawwad has been unanimously elected its chairman and the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Ahamad Bukhari its patron. Leaders of various Muslim organisations convened a meeting here on 15 May. It was presided over by Mufti of Lucknow Maulana Abul Irfan Naimul Haleem. As a result, UDF was formed to act as a Muslim umbrella group to contest the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The chairman of the All-India Muslim Forum Nihaluddin Ahmad announced at a press conference here same day that Maulana Kalbe Jawwad has been unanimously elected chairman of the PDF which is a conglomeration of various Muslim organizations active in the state of Uttar Pradesh. With a population of over 176 million inhabitants, Muslims constitute around 22 percent of the population of this north Indian state.
Later addressing a crowded press conference here same day, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad disclosed that the newly floated political outfit would contest 147 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections in the state which are dominated by Muslims. He said that doors were open for other organisations and political parties keen to shake hands for the cause of their communities.
The Shia cleric revealed that the formation of the PDF was necessary because the political parties make promises to Muslims during the elections only to forget them after coming to power. The political parties use Muslims as their votebank and never fulfill the promises made to them, he added. No government whether it is that of Mulayam Singh or Mayawati had made sincere efforts to revive Urdu language. Instead, they only tried to kill it, he told newsmen.
Kalbe Jawwad said that the success of the meeting could be gauged from the fact that renowned ulama (religious leaders) of the community took part at the meeting. The chairman of the new political front, PDF, Maulana Jawwad demanded appointment of 20 per cent Muslim youths in the police force. He said that the PDF would like to tie up with those political parties which accept its common minimum programme and offer seats to the PDF in the elections in proportion to the Muslim population in the state. He made it clear that he would like to seek guidance from the religious leaders from time to time.
Prominent Muslim organizations which participated in the meeting are the All-India Muslim Forum, Indian National League, Parcham Party of India, Momin Conference, Muslim Majlis, Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat and National Loktantrik Party.
Muslim organisations got an inspiration and enthusiasm to float the new political party in Uttar Pradesh after the assembly elections in Assam where a joint front of Muslims won ten seats on the basis of Muslim voters' strength in various areas of the state.