It seems that after biting the bitter pill of forging an alliance with BJP in the recent by-elections to the Parliament from Mandya and Bangalore rural seats, Janata Dal (Secular) in the State, is warming up to the Muslim vote bank through Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), for the elections to Lok Sabha, slated to be held in Karnataka on April 17.
SDPI, though a fledgling, has proven its might in the previous general elections to the Assembly in the State, and also the local bodies, making inroads into the traditional vote base of Congress party — Muslims. This has given JD(S), also a partner in the third front to explore the possibilities of an alliance with SDPI. Also, for both JD(S) and SDPI, the common foe is the saffron party.
State president of SDPI Abdul Majeed, who is camping in New Delhi to give finishing touches to the possible alliance back home, told Deccan Herald that two rounds of talks have been held with JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in Bangalore.The final round of talks in three to four days, is expected to arrive on a consensus over seat sharing, a possibility that cannot be ignored, said Majeed.
According to the sources in JD(S), in the run up to the elections, the leaders had decided either to field a Lingayat or a Muslim. The party had also made up its mind to field a former MLC from BJP, a Lingayat after wooing him to the party. When that leader proved cagey, the higher ups decided to scout for a Muslim candidate and thus ensued the talks with SDPI.Sitting MLA from K R Nagar, Sa Ra Mahesh has been asked to be ready, in case of an inevitable situation.
The national executive of SDPI that has already given its go ahead for the alliance has decided to contest the forthcoming polls from at least 42 constituencies. After Kerala, where the party is fielding its candidates in all 20 LS seats, Karnataka will be the second highest, with the party contesting in not less than six to seven against the total 28 LS seats.
It includes Mysore-Kodagu, Bangalore Central and North, Mangalore, Udupi-Chikkamagalur, Gulbarga and also Haveri. In case of an alliance, the JD(S) will have to support SDPI, especially in Mysore, Mangalore and Bangalore Central, the three constituencies SDPI is confident of giving other parties a stiff competition.
SDPI claims to have 1.5 lakh votes in hand in Mysore-Kodagu seat, while JD(S) is hoping for over 2.5 lakh votes. This brings the total to about four lakh votes of the 15 lakh electorate.
For Mysore, Majeed himself is a ticket aspirant, besides State vice-president Shabbir Mustafa and State council member M F Khaleem.
What has boosted the confidence level of SDPI is its good performance in the previous Assembly polls, where in N R Assembly segment in Mysore, the party came near second, giving a pyrrhic victory to the Congress.
SDPI’s manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha elections released
New Delhi: The election manifesto of the Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was released here on Thursday at the party central office in a simple but impressive function. The manifesto was jointly released by the party’s founder president E. Abubacker and BAMCEF founder member and president of INSAF Mool Chand, who was the chief guest on the occasion.
SDPI national president A. Sayeed in his presidential address said that the people of India after experiencing democracy for the last 66 years have once again got a chance to exercise their franchise in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and elect a new government which ensures them freedom from hunger and freedom from fear. He informed that SDPI is fielding 42 candidates in 9 states in the ensuing elections.
Later, interacting with the media he revealed: ‘We are in talks with some affiliates of the newly formed Third Front. We are also seriously talking to Welfare Party of India, (WPI), also for some seat arrangement”.
Mool Chand speaking on the occasion appreciated the efforts of SDPI efforts and said that time has come for social and intellectual alignment between Muslims, Other Backward Classes and Dalits to bring about a social change in the society. Abubacker said SDPI is the party of the century which would bring about change in the meaning of development by making people free from hunger, disease, poverty, illiteracy etc. which would be hallmark of real development.
Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, national general secretary of SDPI, after the release of the election manifesto highlighted its main features. He said that it contains various issues from domestic and foreign policies, basic needs of the people, eradication of corruption, democratic rights, SCs/STs, Minorities etc. The party promised new national water policy, 100% literacy by 2020, eradication of corruption, implementation of Ranganath Mishra Commission and Sachar Committee reports, 10% reservation to Muslims, inclusion of Muslim and Christian dalits in the Scheduled Caste category, sub-plan for minorities and reservation for women of SC, ST, OBC and minorities in Lok Sabha and assemblies. It also demanded that all international treaties related to India should be ratified by the Parliament and the county should revive its Nehruvian period status as the leader of the Non-alignment movement.
Adv. Sharfuddin said the SDPI opposes Special Economic Zones, (SEZs), and will work for an end to their existence. Similarly, draconian laws such as UAPA and AFSPA would be repealed and enactment of Communal Violence (Prevention) Bill would be the top priority of the party. He said that SEZs have been allowed autonomy to such an extent that they are beyond our territorial law and enjoy a status of separate state within our country in regard of their administration as well as tax. The government has become a facilitator for the relentless exploitation of the natural resources by private sector. This has to be stopped. The SEZ are practically autonomous corporate enclaves built up on the public land or land forcefully taken over from farmers. Country’s labour laws are not valid in SEZs and the government gives public money in the form of incentives. It is a great real estate opportunity for commercial complexes, offices, malls, golf courses and so on. Both the centre and the states are eager to acquire the land for the Corporate houses. It is very clear that the developers, with government help, corner huge swathes of rich, agricultural land with a measly compensation to farmers without any real resettlement and rehabilitation policy.
EM Abdurahman, member of SDPI’s NWC and manifesto drafting committee, lamented that the release of manifesto by political parties on the eve of elections has become a useless and a worthless exercise as the party which comes to power forgets the commitments and promises made therein to the populace and the nation. This document which has to be implemented in to-to turns out to be a fraud as majority of the promises made are left in the manifesto copies and people are left high and dry. To prove his point he said that Congress-led UPA Government few months back granted reservation to Jaat community while despite tall promises made before the last Lok Sabha elections to provide reservation to Muslims as given in Karnataka and Kerala has still remained hollow. This is treacherous double standard policy of the Congress, he alleged.
Earlier, Afsar Pasha, national general secretary of SDPI, welcomed the dignitaries and guests. Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan, national vice president of SDPI, conducted the proceedings and Adv. Mohammad Aslam Ahmad, president of SDPI’s Delhi state unit, proposed a vote of thanks. Abdul Majeed Faizy, national general secretary; Dr. Mahboob Shareef and Rafeeq Mulla, national secretaries, Adv. Sasjid Siddiqui, national treasurer, Mrs. Yasmeen Farooqui and Mrs. Kausar Shaheen, national convenor & join convenor of women’s wing, and other office-bearers of the party were present on the occasion.
Courtesy DHNS, Twocircles.net