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Poll time love? Maulana Azad's photo on Shiv-Sena manifesto

Tuesday April 10, 2012 04:53:56 PM, Staff Reporter

Photo shot of the front page of Shiv Sena manifesto for Malegaon Corporation elections


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Malegaon: How much Shiv-Sena (SS) - the rightwing party known for its anti-Muslim politics, and the Congress love and respect Muslim freedom fighters is well known. However, both the parties are using Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's name to garner support in their favour while campaigning for the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) elections.


The Shiv-Sena manifesto for the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) elections, in contrast to its declared politics ever since its inception about 30 years ago, has included renowned freedom fighter and the first Education Minister of Independent India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's photo on the front page.


What is more surprising is that Maulana Azad's photo, printed on the front page of the Sena manifesto, is included not with prominent freedom fighters but with leaders and reformists like Dr BR Ambedkar, Maratha warrior Shivaji, Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, Gautam Buddha, Jyotiba Phule, Ahilyabai Holkar and others.


Though, the manifesto apart from including Maulana Azad's photo does not mention any other thing about this great, though ignored, Indian National leader, it is trying to give a message to the voters of Malegaon - a town with about 75% of Muslim population.


The election to the 80-member Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) is scheduled for April 15, and for the first time, the Sena has given party tickets to two Muslims.


Not to be left behind, the Congress - accused of deliberately and tactically ignoring the contribution of Muslims in the Indian freedom struggle and in nation building thereafter, has also used Maulana Azad's name in its party manifesto - though a bit differently. The party has declared in its manifesto that it would name the under-construction Malegaon Corporation building after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.


Political opponents, however, are terming the Congress and Shiv Sena moves a  poll stunt.


"If it is indeed the love of the freedom fighters, why the Sena is opposing writing of the names of the local freedom fighters on the memorial built in their honour? Why the Congress despite being in power for so many years, did not resolve this issue", Guddu, a Janata Dal (S) activist said while talking to  


However, there are others, who feel that if Shiv Sena is softening its anti-Muslim stand, its good.


"It is possible that the Sena is doing so out of political compulsion. But its a good and welcome sign", said Ather Shazan, a student in a local college.






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