The state BJP minority cell is hosting three Iftar parties but has not invited any non-Muslim leader to these events, one of which took place in New Barrackpore Sunday. The leaders of the minority cell have sent out a message that if any non-Muslim leader wants to participate in these events, he must do it without wearing a skull cap.
While another Iftar party will be held at Diamond Harbour on July 10, the third will be held in Kolkata on July 12. “It was a conscious decision. Iftar is for Muslims, who fast throughout the day and not for any leader who would want to gain political mileage out of it. So, we have decided not to invite any non-Muslim, including leaders of our parties,” said Shakeel Ansari, president of the BJP minority cell.
He added: “As far as wearing skullcaps are concerned, it is a part of the religious outfit of Muslims. Non-Muslim leaders put those on to express their proximity to the community, which we think is immoral.”
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When contacted, state BJP president Rahul Sinha said that BJP has decided not to follow the “communal policies” of other leaders. “We have seen our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sporting a hijab and pretending to pray like Muslims, which, we believe insults the sentiments of Muslims because it is nothing more than a drama. This is like if a Muslim friend of mine comes during Durga Puja and offers anjali. So, we have decided to avoid it,” Sinha added.
Meanwhile, sidelined Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy, who is likely to float a new party soon, was recently invited to a Iftar party hosted by the pirzada Taha Siddiqui of Furfura Sharif.
He will also attend another such party at Furfura Sharif to be hosted by elder pirzada Ibrahim Siddiqui on Wednesday.
Asked about Roy’s alleged new party, Ibrahim said: “I don’t know if he is floating any party or not, but he has told us that he was with us and will continue to be with us. We have given him a similar assurance.”
On July 14, expelled CPM leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah will host an Iftar party at Haj House near Park Circus where along with Roy, Trinamool’s Firhad Hakim and Congress leader Somen Mitra are also on the guest list. Asked if there was a new equation on the cards, Mollah said: “Iftar is at 6.20 pm and I have asked them to come over at 5 pm. If there is any bilateral talk during that time between the leaders, I don’t see any harm in it.”
When contacted, Hakim said: “I have just returned from Darjeeling and am yet to go to office. If I receive an invite, I will definitely go.”