'AAP leader's apology over remarks a poll strategy'

Though Aam Admi Party leader Kumar Vishwash, who may challenge Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the latter's bastion in Amethi, has apologised for his reported comments on ‘Muharram', many in the Shia community are still angry and at least one organisation has demanded registration of case against Vishwash.

Besides, the remarks may also hurt him politically as his detractors can use the same to gain political mileage.

Some Shia muslim lawyers in Muzaffarnagar have demanded registration of a criminal case against Vishwash.

They have threatened to move the court if their demand is not conceded by the district police, according to the reports.

“Vishwash's comments have deeply hurt the sentiments of the Shia community...he must be proceeded against”, said Kamran Hasnain, a lawyer in Muzaffarnagar.

Shia muslim  leaders in the state capital have dismissed Vishwash's apology terming it as a “ploy to avoid the wrath of the community in the elections”.“The apology is  nothing but an election strategy...he is only trying to avoid political damage”, said Amir Haider, a senior congress leader.

Haider said that the AAP leader's remarks showed that he had no respect for the religious leaders of other communities.

It will certainly have an impact on his electoral prospect....it could have a bearing on not only Vishwash but also on his party'', Haider said.

Another Shia Cleric Maulana Yasoob Abbas asked Vishwash to be ‘careful’ while speaking about other religions. “Political parties must exercise extreme care while speaking on the religious matter”, Abbas told Deccan Herald here.

He, however, said that the chapter should be considered to be closed as Vishwash had already tendered an apology.

Apparently realising that the comments could snowball into a major controversy ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in which AAP plans to contest all the 80 seats in the state, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh met prominent Shia Cleric Maualana Kalbe Jawwad on Monday.

According to sources, Jawwad asked Vishwash to go the ‘majlis' (meeting) of the Shia community to be held at Delhi on Thursday and apologise for his remarks.

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