Shahi Imam breaks ties with SP

Bukhari says party betrayed Muslim community in UP

Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari spoiled Samajwadi Party celebrations on completion of one year in government, snapping all ties with the party and getting his supporters to resign from it for ‘betraying’ Muslims.

“The state government has cheated Muslims. It has not fulfilled the promises it had made to the people of the state,” Bukhari, who had actively supported SP in last year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, said.

He said he had sent a letter to the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to apprise him of his decision to sever all the ties with the party.

He launched a scathing attack on the Akhilesh Yadav regime alleging that atrocities had been committed on them during the one year tenure of the government.

“The state witnessed several communal riots and in all of them the Muslims lives were lost. They did not receive adequate compensation,” he said. Bukhari virtually ridiculed Mulayam for ‘dreaming of making it big’ in the next Lok Sabha elections.

“Mulayam’s dreams will not come true without the Muslim support,” he said. The cleric also made his intention about taking the SP head-on clear after he declared that he will hold a rally of Muslims in the Mulayam stronghold of Etawah in the next few days.

Chairman of the Civil Defence Council Waseem Ahmed and member of the UP Legislative Council Umar Ali Khan, Bukhari’s son-in-law, have also resigned from their respective posts.

Bukhari’s relations with the SP were never cordial after the party formed its government in the state. The cleric was involved in an open war with senior leader Azam Khan. “Bukhari cannot even win a municipal poll. I challenge him to win even a municipal election”, Khan had then said.

He had asked the cleric to confine himself to religious issues. The Shahi Imam’s decision is likely to put Mulayam in a tight spot. It has come at a time when the SP government is sparing no effort to woo the Muslims.

The government has taken several measures in the interest of the community in an apparent bid to garner their support. Muslims, who constitute around 20 per cent of the state’s electorate, play a decisive role in around 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

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