LUCKNOW – The Iftar politics, that was once an important part of Uttar Pradesh politics, has gone missing.
A large part of the month of Ramzan is over and not a single political party has hosted Iftar yet.
For the past three years, it was Covid that prevented such events and now it is apparently the focus on Hindutva that is making political parties shy away from hosting Iftar parties.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) was known to host the biggest and best attended Iftar party at its party headquarters. Its founder, late Mulayam Singh Yadav would personally attend to guests and ensure that each one had a full meal. The menu on the table was equally lavish.
SP sources now claim that Akhilesh Yadav is wary of hosting an Iftar party since his rivals would brand him as anti-Hindu.
“We would rather focus on the municipal polls instead of wading into a new controversy,” said a party MLA.
However, Akhilesh has been attending Iftar parties that are being hosted by his leaders and MLAs.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has been known to host Iftar parties only when it is in power and the guest list is extremely restricted.
The Congress had earlier hosted Iftar parties on a regular basis and its leaders from Delhi also made it a point to attend the same.
However, in recent years, the party has abandoned the tradition and insiders claim that it is mainly paucity of funds that has made it stop hosting Iftar parties.
The only time that the BJP hosted an Iftar party was when Rajnath Singh was the chief minister. Other leaders have avoided playing host on such occasions.
Iftar parties were started in Uttar Pradesh in the early seventies by the then Chief Minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna. Thereafter, it became an annual tradition.
“The Iftar party is aimed at giving a message of communal harmony. Clerics and political leaders would come together, rising above political affiliations, and break bread. It created a sense of mutual trust,” said veteran Congress leader Arun Kumar Singh. -IANS