‘Akhilesh Yadav ignoring PDA’: 5-time MP Saleem Shervani resigns as SP general secretary | Political Pulse News

‘Akhilesh Yadav ignoring PDA’: 5-time MP Saleem Shervani resigns as SP general secretary | Political Pulse News


Five-time former MP Saleem Shervani on Sunday tendered his resignation from the post of national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party, alleging that party president Akhilesh Yadav does not give any importance to the PDA (Pichhda, Dalit and Alpasankhyak) communities.

In his resignation letter, Shervani asked how the SP is different from the BJP and that the party’s candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections on February 27 didn’t have a Muslim name, as a result of which the community is feeling “ignored”.

Shervani is the third leader in the past one week who has openly rebelled against the party after national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from his post “for feeling undermined”.

The second was SP MLA and Apna Dal (Kamervadi) party leader Pallavi Patel, who had said that she would not vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. Patel and her party leaders carrying the Apna Dal flag, joined the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra in Varanasi on Saturday.

The SP, which is likely to win three of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh that are falling vacant, has nominated former chief secretary Alok Ranjan, actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan — both Kayasths — and Ramji Lal Suman, a Dalit.

Festive offer

In the letter sent to Akhilesh, Shervani wrote, “In the recent past, I have held discussions with you about the condition of Muslims, and I have tried to convey to you that the community is feeling ignored, and is losing confidence in the party. The gulf between the party and the community is increasing, and they are looking for a true ‘guide’. I have also tried to convey to you that their support shouldn’t be undermined. The feeling among the Muslim community is that no secular front is willing to take up their real issues. As per the party’s tradition, I had requested you for a seat for the community in the Rajya Sabha. But the candidates announced didn’t have a Muslim name. This gives rise to the question about how you are different from the BJP?”

“The attempts to create a strong Opposition alliance seem to be proving to be cheating, and no one is serious about it. It seems the Opposition is more inclined towards infighting instead of fighting against the party in power and its wrong policies. Secularism has become a pretence. The Muslims of India, especially those from UP, have never asked for anything else except a life of equality, respect, and their rights. But it seems the party finds this demand to be too much. The party doesn’t have an answer to this. Hence I feel I can’t bring about a change in the condition of Muslims in the party… Therefore, I am resigning from the post of national general secretary of the party. In the next few weeks, I will take a decision about my future in politics,” he added.

Shervani, a five-time MP from Badaun, had rejoined the SP in October 2020. He was elected MP four times on the SP symbol, and once from Congress. He had quit the Congress and joined the SP in the nineties.

He went back to the Congress in 2009 after he was denied a ticket by the SP, which chose Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav to contest from the Badaun segment.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Shervani said, “It should not be interpreted that I have resigned because I wasn’t named for the Rajya Sabha. When Akhilesh ji sent Muslim leader Javed Ali to the Rajya Sabha, I didn’t say anything because I felt the community was represented. Now, when he (Akhilesh) had a chance to send a Muslim to the Rajya Sabha, he didn’t.”

Other party leaders from the Dalit, backward, and Muslim communities have been speaking about the party missing an opportunity by sending two upper-caste leaders to the Rajya Sabha. “The whole election is being fought on PDA pitch, but when the time came for the party’s commitment to the communities, it decided to send upper castes to the Rajya Sabha. Several leaders are feeling disappointed at this,” said a senior OBC leader from the party.

About Patel’s allegation that the party was ignoring PDA, Akhilesh had Wednesday said in Mainpuri, “…I hope our ally (Apna Dal-Kamervadi) will strengthen the fight for PDA. Several Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant in the future. The PDA fight is not getting weakened due to one round of Rajya Sabha elections.”

When contacted, SP national spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said, “The PDA communities are not being ignored. The three nominations for the Rajya Sabha include one Dalit and one woman. In the last Rajya Sabha polls, Muslim leader Javed Ali was sent to the Upper House of Parliament. In the recent MLC polls too, we sent Muslims to the Legislative Council in UP. There is no question of ignoring the PDA.”


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