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Congress slams Imam Bukhari for supporting Samajwadi Party

Lucknow, Sun, 29 Jan 2012 ANI

Lucknow, Jan 29 (ANI): Congress general secretary, Digvijay Singh here slammed senior Muslim cleric Syed Imam Bukhari for showing support to the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the upcoming state polls in Uttar Pradesh.


While addressing a news conference on Saturday, Singh reminded of Bukhari's fatwa in 2004 to vote for Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP.


"Speaking from Kalyan Singh's constituency, Imam Bukhari has clearly shown how much he is in favour of communal harmony. He is the same person who had issued a fatwa in 2004 to vote for Atal Behari Vajpayee and the BJP," said Singh.


Singh was referring to a 2004 fatwa issued by Bukhari, which urged the Muslim community to shed the vote-bank politics mindset and support BJP, as there was a "visible change" in the BJP's stand towards the minority community.


Rapping further Digvijay Singh said that Samajwadi Party supremo had himself made a comment that Bukhari should remain indulged in religion instead of intervening in politics.


"I would also like to remind Mulayam Singh Yadav, who himself made a statement about Imam Bukhari, that he should remain indulged in religion and not get involved in politics. I don't need to mention other things about him," he added.


Mulayam Singh had recently, in his reply to a letter from Bukhari, accused the UPA government of cheating the Muslims by promising 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities, and not for Muslims alone, he had said that the SP was in favour of reservation for Muslims in education and employment.


This move has been seen as an attempt to garner the 18 percent Muslim vote base in UP.


In reaction to Mulayam's reply, Bukhari said that Muslims in Uttar Pradesh should support the SP and blasted the Congress for the deplorable condition of the Muslims in the state.


Elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven-phases. The polls are being viewed as an opportunity for India's major parties to re-establish or strengthen their footholds in the most populous state.


In the fray are the incumbent Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), state's main opposition SP, alongside the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


Muslim votes in Uttar Pradesh hold a key role in determining who will come in power hence all political parties seek their support by offering various sops during elections. (ANI)


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