SP’s strong fort may collapse due to internal strife in Moradabad

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With only a few days left for the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections, the battle for Moradabad Lok Sabha seat is becoming more interesting day by day. The latest twist in the story came when Samajwadi Party (SP), which was earlier struggling with confusion regarding candidate selection. There was anger within the SP after Ruchi Veera, who is seen as the choice of jailed party leader and stalwart Azam Khan, replaced sitting Moradabad MP ST Hasan with Ruchi Veera. Hassan has distanced himself from Veera’s campaign after being shunned by the party. If Hasan comes out in support of Veera, it will send a good message to the voters. A section of SP leaders believe that replacing former Moradabad mayor Hasan, who is a popular figure in the area due to his medical practice, with Veera could drive a section of Muslim voters away from the party towards the BSP, Which has fielded the current president of Thakurdwara Municipality and local OBC Muslim leader Irfan Saifi. Muslims are a major vote bank of SP. Of the 17 lakh voters in Moradabad Lok Sabha seat, about 47 per cent are Muslims, a large portion of whom are Pasmanda Muslims. With the BJP focusing on wooing Pasmanda Muslims, there is also a possibility of a split in Muslim votes, which will help BJP candidate Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar. In 2014, Kumar won Moradabad by defeating ST Hasan by over 87,000 votes. In 2019, the result was exactly the opposite, with Kumar losing to Hasan by around 97,000 votes this time, possibly due to consolidation of Muslim votes as SP and BSP were in alliance.

However, since its inception in 1992, SP has always fielded Muslim candidates from this seat. Sources said the party is hopeful that fielding Bania Veera will help it garner some upper caste votes, thereby avoiding the potential loss of division among Muslim supporters. Apart from Hasan’s displeasure with Veera and division of Muslim votes, SP is facing trouble from its ally Congress in Moradabad. Congress’ Uttar Pradesh vice president Mohammad Rizwan has accused Veera of having a bad attitude and said he will remain neutral in the elections. He told that I think she (Veera) wanted me to be her slave. I didn’t like that. Although I am not opposing him, I am not supporting him either.”

On the other hand, Veera representative Sunil Bhardwaj said that there is good coordination between SP and Congress organizations. “Moradabad is a big constituency and election campaigning is going on. It is difficult to give time to everyone. Someone may have been hurt but it may have been completely unintentional on his part. She also tried to contact Dr Hasan and went to his residence, but he was not available. He said that a WhatsApp group of SP and Congress leaders has been formed, in which the daily programs of the campaign are shared in advance.

However, Congress leader Rizwan’s open declaration against Veera is presenting a picture of lack of coordination and communication between SP and Congress workers on the ground. A Congress leader denied that there was any opposition from his side, claiming that party leaders were involving themselves in the campaign despite there being no information from the SP about the programmes.

However, opinion is divided in the city’s Kachari area, barely a kilometer away from Hasan’s nursing home. Mohammad Jamil, a businessman, said he was happy with the SP’s decision to remove Hasan. “He is very polite but does not go out of his way to help poor people in police matters. Veera is also active in this regard. Last Friday she met Muslims who were coming out of Jama Masjid after offering Alvida-ki-Namaz (prayer on the last Friday of Ramzan) and clashed with officials who were trying to stop us from campaigning. Were. She can fight for us. Shamshuddin, a local timber trader, claimed that Hasan never traveled to the constituency to discuss development issues. He wants there to be a leader like (Aam Aadmi Party supremo and Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal in Moradabad, who can help us provide basic facilities at affordable rates. Shamsuddin said that he has no real problem with the BJP government. “I feel safe because it is doing good work on law and order, but CM Yogi Adityanath should also think about providing affordable basic facilities. Shamshuddin’s neighbor Shariq Javed is upset with the SP removing its biggest leader in the district, ST Hasan, and said that Muslim votes will be divided. A district officer of SP also agreed with Javed’s views. The leader said that since a Hindu candidate has been replaced by Hasan, a section of the community will prefer Saifi.

As for the BJP, in August last year, the Adityanath government made public the findings of the Justice MP Saxena Commission report on the communal riots in Moradabad in 1980, which drew sharp criticism from the opposition, which accused the BJP of polarizing the election on the seat. Accused of trying. Let us tell you that on August 13, 1980, riots broke out after a pig entered an Eidgah in Moradabad city. Many Muslims were killed in the dispute between Muslims and the police and police firing. The incident occurred when both Uttar Pradesh and the Center were in power under Congress governments led by VP Singh and Indira Gandhi respectively. Its report was submitted to the government in November 1983, but according to the findings of the report now made public, the BJP, RSS and the police armed constabulary had no role in the violence. The report indicts IUML leader Shamim Ahmed and one Hamid Hussain.

This report hardly creates any stir at the ground level. 82-year-old Mahmood, sitting in Idgah, the center of violence, said that even after so many years, the new generation is unaware of this incident. “By making the report public, the BJP possibly wants to communalise the election. But there was no need because elections here have always been fought on religious basis. Harish Sharma, who runs a clothes shop in front of Idgah, also said that BJP will not gain anything from this report. The new voters have seen only Hindu-Muslim harmony. I don’t think any voter will change his mind because of the report. BJP district president Akash Pal denied allegations that the report was part of the party’s campaign. He said that we are not discussing the report. Everyone knows who instigated the riot. This incident was a stain on Moradabad. He admitted that young people have no idea about it.

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