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Ulema want Cong-NCP to field at least five Muslims

29 Mar, 2009 0303hrs IST TNN[ Mohammed Wajihuddin ]

 
 
 
 

 

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MUMBAI: Muslim clerics, representing almost all the Sunni sects like Deobandis, Barelvis and Ahl-e-Hadees, have raised the banner of revolt against the Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra. The ulemas have unanimously given an ultimatum to Congress-NCP leaders to field at least five Muslim candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in the state failing which they will campaign against the UPA candidates.

At a meeting, attended by over 50 imams of different mosques in the city and heads of dozens of faith-based Muslim organisations, at Islam Gykmkhana on Saturday, the ulemas passed a resolution which can add to the woes of the Congress-NCP combine.

"Muslims constitute over 12% of the population in Maharashtra and we had demanded that Congress-NCP should field at least five Muslim candidates. But we've got just one, that too an 80-plus A R Antulay from Raigad whose winnability is doubtful due to his recent controversial remarks on the killing of Hemant Karkare in the 26/11 terror attacks," said Maulana Athar Ali, head of the All India Ulema Association, which had convened the meeting. Maulana Athar took a pledge from all other clerics and imams for appeals from the mosques to vote for SP's Abu Asim Azmi (Mumbai North-West) and BSP's Mohammed Ali Shaikh (Mumbai-South) and non-Congress and non-NCP secular candidates.

When asked if the clerics' call to Muslims will end up strengthening the saffron alliance, Maulana Athar clarified: "Muslims have been kept under this psychological fear of the saffron parties coming to power. We were better off during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in Maharashtra than we're now under the Congress-NCP. Even the Sena-BJP will be forced to tone down their anti-Muslim agenda if they see our support coming their way."

The clerics who had invited several Muslim NGOs and activists for consultation debated the strategy—vote at any cost, if not for the victory of other secular candidates, then to defeat the Congress-NCP.

(Courtesy Times of India)

 

 

 

 

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Sare Jahan Se Accha

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