Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party fielded Bollywood actor Javed Jafri in Lucknow, several parties have sprung into action to weaken him by fielding Muslim candidates.
The Peace Party, which found favour from a section of Muslims in eastern and central Uttar Pradesh in 2009, has fielded Mohammad Raees. The Peace Party candidate is a well known leader in Old Lucknow.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Peace Party had fielded candidates in 22 seats of eastern and central Uttar Pradesh. Although it had not won any seat then, the party has been making inroads into the Muslim vote bank of the Samajwadi Party.
While Peace Party general secretary M. J. Khan had recently joined the BJP, the candidature of Raees is indirectly helping Rajnath by bulldozing the AAP’s plan to win over Muslims.
Moreover, the Mamata Bannerjee- led TMC is also helping Rajnath indirectly by fielding local businessman Mohammed Sarvar Mallick in the constituency. The Muslim voters are already confused by the conflicting appeals made by the local maulanas in the constituency.
Sunni cleric Khalid Rashid Firangimehli is asking his followers in private meetings that the Samajwadi Party is the best option, while Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad wants the community to go with the Aam Aadmi Party.