Monday, January 2, 2012

Muslim cleric unites small parties in UP [state in India] - By Mohammed Anas - The Sunday Guardian

Muslim cleric unites small parties in UP

A prominent Muslim cleric, Maulana Salman Nadwi, who is a teacher at Darul Uloom Nadwa seminary, Lucknow and a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, has assembled 13 small political parties in Uttar Pradesh, to form a joint front, Ittehad Front. Ittehad will contest all 403 Assembly seats in the upcoming polls in the state.

The front will be headed by the Peace Party. It will include the Indian Justice Party (IJP) of Dr Udit Raj, Apna Dal of Anupriya Patel, Om Prakash Rajbhar's Bhartiya Samaj Party, Qaumi Ekta Dal of Mukhtar Ansari, Ittehad-e-Millat Council of Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, Bundelkhand Congress of Raja Bundela, Gondwana Gantantra Party of Devendra Gaur, Bharatiya Lokhit Party, India National League, Rashtriya Parivartan Morcha, Bharatiya Yuva Kalyan Party of M.A. Siddique, National Loktantrik Party of Arshad Khan, Rashtriya Parivartan Morcha of Bhagwan Singh and Bharatiya Jansewa Party of Swami Luxmi Shankaracharya.

Talking to The Sunday Guardian, Nadwi made it clear that his seminary had nothing to do with the political alliance. "Darul Uloom Nadwa will not have any say in the functioning of the front. But it definitely enjoys the blessings of the elders of the seminary," he said. When asked whether after the Darul Uloom Deoband, Nadwa was emerging as the epicentre of Muslim politics, Nadwi refused to comment.

Dr Mohammed Ayub, the chief of the Peace Party, said that the front has been formed to challenge the hegemony of the mainstream parties. "Our front will be free of caste and religious influences. We are a platform of alternative political forces in the state. Our target is to unite voters of backward and very backward sections of all communities," said Ayub. Ayub claimed that the front will win so many seats in the state that the next government will not be formed without help from it.

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