Lucknow, April 7 (IANS) The verbal spat between Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan and Delhi's Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari has put the Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in a tight spot.
With neither of the two ready to backtrack and the resultant adverse media hype, Mulayam Yadav has refused to visit the party office for the last two days, close aides told IANS.
Both the Muslim leaders, however, continued to train guns at each other, leaving the Samajwadi Party red-faced.
Azam Khan Saturday fired yet another salvo on Bukhari, calling him a "non-entity" in Muslim politics and saying he got a ticket for his son-in-law Umar Khan because of Mulayam Yadav's "mercy and kind-heartedness".
Khan had earlier opposed the legislative council ticket given to Bukhari's son-in-law, saying religious people should not be obliged by the Samajwadi leadership.
Irked, Bukhari returned the ticket of his son-in-law Friday and wrote a terse letter to Mulayam Yadav denying allegations that he was seeking Samajwadi Party candidature to his family members.
Bukhari Saturday spewed venom at Khan. He called Khan not only a "man with no standing among the Muslim community" but anti-Islam.
PWD Minister and Mulayam Yadav's brother Shivpal Yadav tried to douse the flames.
"These things keep happening in a large family," he told IANS. "We respect Imam Bukhari and we will hear what he has to say."
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