New Delhi: Keeping in mind the sour experiences of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party (SP) has decided not to take any chance with the Muslim voters in the forthcoming state assembly polls. In distribution of party tickets for 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, SP think-tank is giving a special attention to Muslims.

Under any circumstances, SP leaders are unwilling to take any liberal approach on the issue. A recent example in the regard was visible at Bareli. On Tuesday, the party had announced four candidates for the different assembly seats of the district. However, soon after SP rolled back on its decision and cancelled the candidature of the four party members.

If sources are to be believed, an influential Muslim leader of SP had raised doubts over the distribution of party tickets at Bareli. Though SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had no objections with the four candidates, but under pressure from the senior Muslim party leader, he had to cancel their candidature.

According to sources, the advice of senior Muslim leaders within the party is being given preference, and more so, on assembly segments where the fate of candidates will be decided by Muslim voters. A proposal of senior SP Muslim leader Azam Khan, regarding the finalizing of party candidates is still pending with Yadav. Khan has claimed that his opinion should be taken before announcing party candidates in more than a dozen assembly seats.

It is noteworthy, that in an effort to woo the Muslim voters, SP has fielded Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari’s son-in-law as party candidate from Saharanpur district. Sources have maintained that SP is announcing candidates only for undisputed seats, whereas for assembly segments dominated by Muslim voters, the party is not in a hurry to declare candidates.

JPN/Bureau