Sandeep Joshi: Three demands on behalf of the community UPMA confident of winning at least 10 seats
NEW DELHI: A day before counting of votes, the Uttar Pradesh Muslim Alliance, a new group of five political parties and two social organisations, said elected MPs owing allegiance to it would support a government that commits itself to separate reservation for poor Muslims and a Rs.25,000-crore package for the community. Claiming that the group would win at least 10 Lok Sabha seats, UPMA chairman M.J. Khan said here on Friday it would support a political formation at the Centre only on the basis of a firm commitment to implement their three-point agenda. These points include the removal of religion-based discrimination in the Constitution and the trifurcation of the OBC quota among advanced OBCs, most backward classes (MBCs) and Muslims based on their share in the population as worked out by the Mandal Commission. Another demand is a special package of Rs. 25,000 crore annually for Muslims to be given by the Centre towards their education, employment and economic development. UPMA is a group of U.P.-focussed major social and political bodies. These are the All India Ulema Council, the All India Momin Conference, the All India Muslim Council, the Muslims Economic Forum, the National Loktantrik Party, the Jamait-e-Islami U.P., the All India Milli Tanzeem and its related organisations — the Peace Party, the Ulema Council and the U.P. Milli Mahaz. “We will form a National Muslim Alliance bringing together like-minded political and social organisations to emerge as a strong leadership of the Muslim community,” Mr. Khan said. “Since Independence, Muslims have been delivered only promises, which will not be tolerated now. UPMA leaders are in touch with Muslim leaderships to negotiate with political groups to extend them support, provided they commit to deliver,” he said. across India, including seven seats in U.P. — Khalilabad, Basti, Domariaganj, Gonda, Deoria, Jalaun and Azamgarh. Other hopes include two seats in Assam and one in Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Khan added. Present at the press meet were All India Ulema Council general secretary Maulana Abu Baqr, National Loktantrik Party head M. Arshad Khan and All India Muslim Council President Syed Hussain Musa.