28 May, 2006 PTI,
Lucknow: Barely a fortnight after the formation of the Peoples' Democratic Front comprising several smaller Muslim outfits in Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim Political Council (MPC) was launched here today to take up the issues regarding the welfare of the community.
The MPC, which would be "an apolitical body," has been formed to create political awareness among the Muslims so that they were able to vote for the right party, its President and United Muslim Morcha state chief M A Siddique told reporters.
The political parties had used the Muslims as a "vote bank" and had done "precious little" for their welfare, he said adding, even the Muslim religious leaders had not been able to ensure their upliftment.
Siddique said the MPC would soon organise a 'panchayat' of Muslim intellectuals here to identify the issues concerning the community and then take them up.
Decrying the formation of different Muslim organisations, he said instead of benefitting the community, they would split their votes and thus benefit the "communal forces". He also said religious leaders should not venture into politics as it "undermined" their importance.
Noted film actor Shahzad Khan, well-known Urdu poet Bekal Utsahi and former IPS officer S M Nasem, who were nominated members of the Advisory Board of the Council, were also present at the press conference.
The formation of the Council comes soon after the launching of the PDF, consisting of several Muslim political outfits, under the Chairmanship of noted Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawaad. The PDF has decided to contest the state assembly polls next year.