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Posted Online on Tuesday, 6
June 2006 15:30 IST
Peoples' Democratic Front holds first open meeting
Milli Gazette Online
Lucknow: Unperturbed over the voices of dissent raised by a section of clerics, the newly formed political organization of Uttar Pradesh Muslims, Peoples' Democratic Front (PDF), has decided to contest 140-145 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections in the northern state which has a total of 403 seats in its legislative assembly.
Some Muslim religious leaders fearing threat to their influence were bitter critics since its formation, but the PDF has decided to go ahead with its plans to mobilize the community and to field candidates in the assembly elections expected early next year.
The PDF, headed by the renowned Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad, reiterated at the conference of Muslim intellectuals and Ulama held in Lucknow on 4 June that it would field candidates on 140-145 seats and would prefer to form an alliance with those parties which extend support for the betterment of the plight of the Muslims in the state. Political parties use Muslims as a votebank to gain political mileage, he said adding that it was an appropriate time for the Muslims to remain united and fight to protect their interests. He dismissed apprehensions that the formation of the PDF would give fillip to the communal forces.
The eyes of the bitter critic ulama were set on the conference and the mobile phones of journalists were continuously ringing. The ulama were curious to know the gathering present at the conference and they were asking whether the conference was a success or just fizzled out.
Political analysts say that the formation of the PDF has upset the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh's applecart. They argued that the emergence of the PDF on the state's political horizon would not allow political parties to use Muslims for their interests as the front would fight for their cause. The general secretary of CPI (ML) Akhilendra Pratap Singh expressed the hope that the PDF would play an important role in the coming days in the state.
The PDF convention was called to mobilize public opinion in favour of Muslim religious and community leaders taking an active part in politics. The chairman of the PDF Maulana Kalbe Jawwad while addressing the convention of the intellectuals and ulama attacked the Government for ignoring the interests of the Muslims. He said the political parties always use Muslim as their votebank and forget the promises made to them when the election is over.
The conference deliberated the ways and means to establish good relations with the majority community. The PDF will fight against those who were bent upon tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims. The objective of PDF is to secure for Muslims their due share in governance.
The PDF suffered a jolt as the imam of the historic Tilewali Masjid Maulana Fazlur Rahman disassociated himself with it. He was one of the members who had supported for formation of the organization. Some Muslim leaders attending the conference passed comments on Fazlur Rahman saying that it was the pressure of the Samajwadi Party leadership that compelled him to dissociate himself from the