Bukhari cosies up to Mulayam again

Thaw: Meeting between cleric and SP chief on ‘issues of Muslim community’ ends on positive note

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published: June 27, 2013 3:48 am

Three months after snapping ties,Syed Ahmed Bukhari,the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid,is cosying up to Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav. A recent meeting between Bukhari and Mulayam at New Delhi ended on a positive note.

“It is true that I met Mulayam at New Delhi before leaving for Saudi Arabia on June 15. We discussed several issues related to the Muslim community. The talks were fruitful and results will be visible very soon,” Bukhari told The Indian Express on Wednesday. Bukhari returned from his foreign trip Tuesday.

Bukhari denied any compromise or deal during the meeting. He also refuted reports that his son-in-law Umar Ali Khan,who is a member of the Legislative Council,was getting a ministerial berth.

“I want to make it clear that Umar Ali Khan has been made MLC and that is enough for him. I do not want a ministerial position for him. We held talks on the larger interests of the Muslim community,” he said.

Bukhari admitted that the ouster of his another relative Waseem Ahmed Khan from the chairmanship of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) was discussed during the meeting. Waseem was appointed chairman of UPPCB with minister-of-state status. Later he was shifted as chairman of Civil Defence Council,which was resented by Bukhari.

“It is not the matter of Waseem,it can be any Muslim. He was removed from UPPCB without any reason. There should be some proof of wrongdoing against him. For me,it was the removal of a Muslim,who are already ill-represented in government bodies,without assigning any reason,” Bukhari said.

The cleric said that Mulayam was very positive during the talks and assured him of action. “He is a very senior and sincere leader. Most of the issues raised by me were accepted by him. I am satisfied with the talks and hopeful of fruitful results,” Bukhari claimed.

However,he added,“My association with the SP will be again performance-based. I need assurance and results for welfare work related to Muslims. They need to take action on this front.”

Bukhari had issued an appeal for supporting the SP during the Assembly elections in 2012 but the removal of Waseem as UPPCB chairman upset him. Bukhari then accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of not fulfilling the promise of providing adequate representation to Muslims in government posts. He even organised a rally against Mulayam at his home district of Etawah in April.

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