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Bukhari seeks support for Congress, Trinamool
Saturday April 5, 2014 9:47 AM, IANS

Muslim leader Syed Ahmed Bukhari Friday announced his support for the Congress and its allies as well as Trinamool Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. BJP termed it a "communal stance" and asked the poll panel to take cognizance.

"I had a detailed discussion with (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi on various issues related to Muslims. I announce my support for the Congress for the general elections," Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi, told reporters.

He said that it is not a diktat but an appeal to Muslims to vote for the Congress.

The Shahi Imam asked Muslims to vote for the Trinamool Congress too.

"In Bengal, the Trinamool Congress has done work for Muslims. It can be hoped that Mamata Banerjee will protect Muslims," he added.

"We will support all allies of the Congress including the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal)," he added.

"I have complaints against Congress, but that doesn't mean we will vote for people who want to divide the country," he added.

Bukhari accused the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav of betraying Muslims.

"Voting for the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will be a waste," he added.

"Nation faces danger from communal forces. We should ensure secular votes are not divided," he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) meanwhile slammed the stance taken by Bukhari, accusing Congress of communalising the election.

"The Shahi Imam has kept changing stand every election. They have chosen a communal stance," said party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

"This just shows desperation of the Congress. They are trying to communalise the election and the Election Commission must take cognizance of this communal appeal," he said.

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