Mulayam-Kalyan fallout: Babri panel split

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh’s ties with former BJP chief minister Kalyan Singh has resulted in the split of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee....

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: February 11, 2009 11:27:39 pm

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh’s ties with former BJP chief minister Kalyan Singh has resulted in the split of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee. The division comes at a time when the SP’s move has drawn flak from the Muslims,the party’s mainstay.

Mulayam’s bonhomie with Kalyan has triggered sudden activities in the dormant Babri Masjid Action Committee with a section,opposed to the Samajwadi Party,calling a meeting here and electing one of its founder members — Jawed Habeeb — as its chairman.

Members of the committee from Uttar Pradesh,who are considered close to the Samajwadi Party,were not invited to the meeting on Sunday. At the meeting,the Habeeb faction re-elected Zafaryab Gilani as the committee’s convenor although he stayed away from the meeting terming it as “illegal”.

“I got a phone call from Jawed Habeeb a fortnight ago saying he was convening a meeting of the committeee and invited me. I told him that I am the convenor of the committee and asked him how he could call a meeting. Besides,Habeeb had resigned from the committee long back. How can he call a meeting when he is no more a member?” Gilani told The Indian Express. Gilani said the meeting and the election of Habeeb as chairman was not valid. “We won’t accept it.”

Habeeb,on the other hand,said he would write to Gilani soon explaining the circumstances that led to convening of the meeting and the resolutions adopted and he will leave it to him to take a decision. He argued that members of the committee demanded convening of an immediate meeting in the wake of the Mulayam-Kalyan patch-up. “I convened the meeting on their demand. The Babri Masjid Committee had become the Mulayam committee. We wanted to get the committee rid of all politics,” he told The Indian Express.

The “pre-election friendship” between Mulayam and Kalyan was extremely deplorable,opportunistic and a cruel joke on the self-esteem of the Muslim community,he added.

Members like Mushtaq Ahmed Siddiqui and Moulana Mohammad Idris,who was not invited to the meeting,lashed out at Habeeb and defended Mulayam. “These people sitting in Delhi think that they can become leaders by raking up the Babri issue. This shows their mental bankruptcy,” Idris said over phone. Asked about Habeeb’s allegation that some members of the committee were using the platform to help Mulayam,he said “the action committee never issued any statement in favour of the Samajwadi Party although Mulayam has always supported the committee. One should remember that he had ordered firing on kar sevaks”.

Habeeb said his attempt was to relaunch the Babri Masjid movement. Habeeb said the committee would organise an all India conference here next month to decide on the strategy for the Lok Sabha polls. The committee had not been active for the last 13 years. It has been headless ever since the death of its former Chairman Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.

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