LUCKNOW: With Uttar Pradesh fast getting into election mode, prominent Muslims leaders have said that the community will vote only for the party that gives it job reservation. Since Muslims comprise 19% of the total electorate in UP and hold dominance in 27 districts, the move is sure to have far-reaching political consequences in the state and beyond.

The issue was discussed at a meeting in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday which was attended by senior community leaders and clerics like acting mohtamim (vicechancellor) of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani; member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB) Maulana Sufiyan Qasmi; Darul Uloom senior faculty Maulana Naseem Shah Qaiser; Jamia mufti Arshad Farooqui and Arabic expert Maulana Nadeemul Wazdi.

This is for the first time that the community clerics have openly discussed the issue of reservation for Muslims. “Look at the condition of the community today. In such a situation, any tangible improvement can be achieved only by introducing reservation. It is not that we have picked up the issue from nowhere and started demanding reservation. Even the government appointed Sachar Commission suggests so,” Maulana Nomani said.

Stating that the issue has not cropped up all of a sudden, Maulana Nomani said that a similar movement was started during Maulana Asad Madani’s stint as president of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind.