//Muslims spurn UP govt's Dalit tag

Muslims spurn UP govt's Dalit tag

Abhishek Patni, CNN-IBN December 06, 2006 

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday recommending reservation for Dalit Muslims and Christians.

The Opposition however chose to stay away during the vote. And not everyone is impressed with the step meant to woo Muslim voters.

"There is no such word as Dalit in Islam. This is a conspiracy to divide our community,” says a member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Khalid.

Muslims comprise 18 per cent of UP's population and with elections round the corner, all parties are keen to project themselves as pro-Muslim.

Interestingly, the ruling Samajwadi Party rejects the Sachar Committee recommendations as a political stunt.

“Congress is using the Sachar Committee as a political stunt just before the elections,” says Parliamentary Affairs Minister, UP, Azam Khan.

And that's exactly what the BJP is saying about the Assembly resolution.

“It was drama ahead of the elections, passed without debate. They are only concerned about the Muslim vote bank," says the deputy leader, BJP legislature party, Hukum Singh.

So while the Central Government's follow-up actions on the Sachar panel's recommendations as well as the Assembly resolution are being seen against the backdrop of the coming UP elections, what remains to be seen is, how electorally rewarding such actions would prove to be for the parties.

(With Inputs from Manoj Rajan Tripathy )