The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 11, 2009

Muslims not forced to say 'Jai Bhim': Mayawati

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has clarified that it is not necessary for its Muslim workers to say 'Jai Bhim', which has been the slogan of the party.

The party president Maywati has said that the Muslim workers can greet each other with 'Adab' or 'Salaam' and rest of the Hindus can say 'Jai Ramji' rather than 'Jai Bhim'.

Clarifying that the party cadre comes from Dalit castes and as the BSP draws inspiration from Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, it was the standard practice among workers to address each other with the phrase 'Jai Bhim'.

However, it is not mandatory and nobody will be forced to say it. Recently, Muslim scholar Maulana Mahmood Madani had joined the BSP and doubts were raised from various quarters whether it was permissible for a clergyman to say 'Jai Bhim'.

The clarification has come after the controversy erupted. Muslims comprise nearly 20%of electorate in Uttar Pradesh. The BSP is trying hard to get a share out of the Muslim vote, which has mostly been with Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party.

TIH Bureau

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