BJP files complaint against Shahi Imam for openly endorsing Congress

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 14:49

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Days after the Shahi Imam of Delhi`s Jama Masjid made an appeal to voters to support Congress, the BJP on Monday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the Muslim cleric`s open endorsement of the ruling party.

According to reports, a delegation of BJP leaders today met the Election Commission officials and said that Shahi Imam`s open endorsement of Congress is an attempt to communalise the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, another senior Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawaad today attacked Congress for doing nothing for members of his community and exploiting them as vote bank.

“Congress has become arrogant, it thinks that Muslims are its servants,” Maulana Kalbe Jawaad said.

The reactions from the main opposition party came days after Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari appealed to voters, especially Muslims, to vote for Congress, saying the party has done a lot for his community.
Bukhari made the announcement after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence.

Endorsing Congress and issuing an appeal to vote for the party, Bukhari said, “We announce support for the Congress. I support Congress on the condition that they will fulfill promises made to the Muslim community.” “We will support all allies of the Congress including the RJD,” he added.

Replying to reporters` questions, the Shahi Imam said he was not issuing a fatwa for Muslims to vote in favour of the Congress, but only issuing an appeal.
“It`s is not a fatwa that we have issued; it`s an appeal. This is just a support and opinion that I have expressed, it is not an order,” he clarified.

Defending his support, Bukhari said, “Under the Indian Constitution there is no rule that a religious head can`t have an opinion and express it.”

He also appealed people to vote for the Trinamool Congress which has done a lot of work for the community in West Bengal.



First Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 14:43

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