UPCC minority cell attacks Shahi Imam

Lucknow: The minority cell of Uttar Pradesh Congress on Friday charged the Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari with working as the agent of Samajwadi Party and lashing out at the party in the context of the Allahabad High Court's verdict in the Ayodhya title suits.

"The Shahi Imam had favoured and opposed different political parties at different points of time in the past and today he is working as agent of Samajwadi Party and attacking the Congress", chairman of the Minority cell of the UPCC, Maroof Khan said in a statement here.

Claiming that Bukhari stands exposed before the community, Khan said that he had also sought votes in favour of BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

Referring to Bukhari's criticism of Congress , Khan said that its (Congress') secular credentials did not require Imam saheb's certificate.

Claiming that both Bukhari and Mulayam Singh Yadav were not getting support of the community, Khan said that this has frustrated the former "who is now resorting to beating up journalists who pose uncomfortable questions."

Losing his cool after being asked a question related to the Ayodhya dispute here yesterday by a local reporter, the Shahi Imam had called him an agent of the Congress.

"It is unbecoming of a person like Bukhari to indulge in fisticuffs at a press conference", Khan said referring to yesterday's incident in Lucknow and demanded that journalists should boycott Bukhari's press conferences in future.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon also criticised Bukhari for "misbehaving" with a scribe and said such people needed to be socially boycotted.