UP elections 2022: SP in a makeover mood to counter BJP’s communal agenda

“The party has taken a calculated risk to shed its Muslim Yadav image and project itself as a party which is not against Hindus,” said a Samajwadi Party lawmaker

UP elections 2022: SP in a makeover mood to counter BJP’s communal agenda
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NH Correspondent/Lucknow

After the Jinnah fiasco, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has decided to tread cautiously to shed its image as a party too reliant on Muslim votes so as to counter Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) communal politics.

“The party has taken a calculated risk to shed its M-Y (Muslim Yadav) image and project itself as a party which is not against Hindus,” a Samajwadi Party lawmaker, who is part of the decision making in the party, told this reporter.

The conscious effort is visible as Akhilesh Yadav does not share the stage with Muslim leaders frequently and of late had visited many Hindu temples. In his speeches, he even claims that he is a bigger Hindu than the BJP leaders.

In the last one week or so, the BJP leaders have latched on to Akhilesh’s comments equating Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah with Gandhi and Sardar Patel for attacking the Samajwadi Party. Senior BJP leaders including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have started calling Akhilesh `Jinnahwadi’. And to further incite their Hindu passion, the BJP leaders remind people about how Ram Bhakts were killed during Mulayam Singh Yadav’s regime when police opened fire at a mob in Ayodhya.

The SP lawmaker said that the design of the BJP is very clear. It wants to foment communal hatred. Yogi Adityanath tried to fan the communal hatred in Shamli when he met a few traders who had left the area in 2016. “In his public meeting, CM spoke about a criminal, who was a Muslim, and how he tormented Hindus. CM took the name of that criminal not once but about a dozen times. This exposes BJP’s game plan,” the lawmaker said.

Last week a meeting was held at the party’s headquarters in Lucknow where it was decided that the SP should try to change its image. The consensus was that Hindutva is the dominant narrative of politics in Uttar Pradesh and the party should follow the rules of the game.


The party leadership believes that Muslims have more or less made up their minds in favour of the Samajwadi Party because their main target is to get rid of BJP. The insiders believe that Congress and AIMIM are no threat to the Muslim vote bank of the SP. The Party’s proposed alliance with RLD will nullify BSP’s impact in western Uttar Pradesh.

“In this scenario, the party cannot bat on the pitch rolled out by the BJP. We have to chart out our course and the party has decided to play the game in such a way that will not allow BJP to raise communal rancour,” the lawmaker said.

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