Ulema Council hedges its bets: will fight Cong,could back BJP later

The newly-formed outfit Ulema Council,which plans to contest the Lok Sabha polls due in April-May...

Written by ARSHAD AFZAL KHAN | Faizabad | Published: March 11, 2009 4:00 am

The newly-formed outfit Ulema Council,which plans to contest the Lok Sabha polls due in April-May,has said it will keep equal distance from all political parties including the Samajwadi Party,BSP,Congress and the BJP.

“We don’t trust any political party in the state as friends of Muslims,” Council’s convenor Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madani Tuesday. A day earlier,Madani was quoted as saying he was willing to support the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

On Tuesday,Madani said his party would fight on its own but could consider supporting the BJP after the polls if it gets any seat. “If we win seats,we can consider supporting the BJP also during the government formation on our terms,” he said,adding its principal foe was the Congress and that he would field candidates against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Rai Bareli and Amethi respectively.

The Ulema Council has already released its first list of five candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

The list comprises nominees for the Azamgarh,Lalganj,Jaunpur,Machlishehar and Lucknow Parliamentary constituencies. Historian Amaresh Mishra has been named as the Council’s candidate from Lucknow while Dr Javed Akhtar,a leading surgeon,will be fielded from Azamgarh.

Chandraram Saroj alias Chandu will contest from Lalganj,Tasleem Ahmad from Jaunpur and Sohan Ram,an advocate,from Machlishehar.

Madani said the next list,to be out soon,would include the names of heavyweights from Amethi and Rai Bareli.

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