UP polls 2012: Parties go all out to woo Muslim voters

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Congress workers rally
New Delhi, Jan 31: With all parties trying to woo Muslim voters, Congress has pulled out all stops to attract them in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh by promising reservation to backward minorities commensurate with their population.

The assurance means that the party was ready to give 9 per cent reservation to backward minorities, with Muslims constituting 18 per cent of the 20 crore population of the politically crucial state.

The party's poll manifesto released from Uttar Pradesh today lists a number of ambitious promises for the community along with its commitment to "pursue equitable solution to the Babri Masjid dispute".

Emphasising that it will ensure full and timely implementation of the central government's decision on 4.5 reservation for socially and economically backward minorities under OBC category, the manifesto also expresses party's intent to provide an increased percent of reservation for backward minorities in state jobs and admissions in Uttar Pradesh if it came to power there.

Though the manifesto does not mention the figure of nine per cent reservation, which had led to a political controversy, it notes the party aims towards a "subquota/reservation for socially and economically backward minorities in UP in state government employment and educational institutions, "commensurate with their population".

Inspite of objections by the Election Commission, the AICC had stood by Union Minister Salman Khurshid's promise of a 9 percent sub quota to backward minorities in state government jobs and admission to educational institutions.

Samajwadi Party, BSP and even smaller parties like Peace Party and Ulema Council are engaged in oneupmanship in this virtually no-holds-barred battle for the Muslim votes.

PTI

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