Rift between Sharief, Khan leaves Muslim leaders in Cong divided

Rift between Sharief, Khan leaves Muslim leaders in Cong divided

The rift between former Union minister C K Jaffer Sharief and Minister of Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan has left the Muslim leaders in the State Congress divided. 

The two senior leaders refused to come face to face, rendering futile the efforts by a section of leaders to organise a meeting of the leaders and mount pressure on the party high command to seek, among others, an adequate representation to the community while giving the tickets for the Lok Sabha polls. 

The meeting was cancelled twice recently as Khan was not available, sources said. The community leaders wanted to urge the party high command to field candidates from at least four constituencies and give proper representation to the community in nominating heads to various boards and corporations of the State government. They fear that the party may not give the ticket to the community leader in Bangalore Central. 

Sharief, aged above 80, will not get the ticket, if the party adheres to its vice president Rahul Gandhi’s rule that those aged above 80 should not be fielded. Youth Congress president Rizwan Arshad, H T Sangliana and J Alexander are other aspirants. The community leaders wanted to ensure that the party gives the ticket to Arshad in case Sharief fails to get it, sources said. The relationship between the two leaders strained after Sharief demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in Amanath Cooperative Bank, which Khan headed for some years. 

Sources said the Muslim legislators are planning to hold a meeting on Tuesday, to prepare a wish list to be incorporated in the budget 2014-15 which will be presented on February 14.

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