Post Ulema rally,fissures develop within Muslim group

Within 48 hours since the Azamgarh-based Ulema made its political ambition public at a huge rally in Lucknow...

Written by Virendra Nath Bhatt | Lucknow | Published: February 23, 2009 3:47:23 am

Within 48 hours since the Azamgarh-based Ulema made its political ambition public at a huge rally in Lucknow,three Muslims outfits have dissociated themselves from the council and announced they would form their own political front.

The outfits — Muslim Majlis,Parcham Party of India,National Loktantrik Party of India — which had participated in the February 20 rally,are unhappy for two reasons. First the council decided to contest the elections without consulting them and secondly the use of “intemperate language” against Chief Minister Mayawati and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the rally.

Maulana Mehmood Alam Kasmi,founder member of the Council,however,denied that any of the clerics had used foul language during the rally. “I have no idea of what other Muslim parties are doing and so far no decision about an alliance has been taken,” Kasmi told The Indian Express over phone from Azamgarh.

Mohammed Arshad Khan,president of the National Loktantrik Party,meanwhile,has termed its relation with council as “a closed chapter.”

“We will announce our front on Monday and talks were on with other parties. Those who claim to be Alim (learned person) should have practised restraint and used parliamentary language,” said Khan.

Parcham Party’s Peerzada Salim Ahmed Khan also echoed the same words. He said: “We decided to come under one banner for giving a new direction to Muslim politics in UP,and it’s a political struggle which should be pursued within the norm of decency of parliamentary politics.”

The Muslim Majlis,though critical of the council,however, said its doors are open for the ulemas. “It’s the Ulema Council which took a decision in haste. Let them make up their mind whether they would like to be a part of the joint front of the Muslim political parties,” said Khan Atif,president of the Muslim Majlis.

The council’s diatribe against the government and other constitutional entities in Lucknow has come under criticism from a section of Muslim leaders too. Maulana Khalid Rashid,Naib Imam of Aishbagh Idgah,said it was “ridiculous” to suggest that the government and the judiciary had done injustice to Muslims for the last 60 years. “Had it been true,Muslims would not have existed in India,” he said.

He also said “the kind of language that was used in rally” was more condemnable since it came from the clerics.

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