Hours after Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed cited a “grave threat” to Muslims and appealed to the community to vote for AAP, party leader Arvind Kejriwal spurned the offer, saying “the AAP does not welcome support from the man who refused to invite the Prime Minister of India for the coronation ceremony of his son and invited instead the Prime Minister of Pakistan”.
“We need the support of ordinary Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, all other religious faiths… Aam logon ki support ki zaroorat hai,” Kejriwal told The Indian Express, describing the announcement of support from Jama Masjid as “an attempt to communalise the atmosphere” on the eve of the polls.
Last November, Bukhari anointed son Shaban as his deputy but said he would not invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the ceremony because “he does not like us and we do not like him”. He said he was inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with whom he had “good personal relations”.
On Friday, Bukhari appealed to Muslims to vote for AAP and help form an “honest and secular” government in Delhi while accusing the BJP of extending support to “elements trying to divide society”.
We want the support of the common man and we will win with that: Sanjay Singh, AAP on Imam Bukhari’s support pic.twitter.com/CTBskAJK7y
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 6, 2015
“The country is facing the grave danger of communalism and Muslims are the target of communal forces,” Bukhari said while asking people to support AAP to protect the country from divisive forces.
Snubbing him, Kejriwal said it appeared that the Imam and BJP were in tune because as soon as he announced his support, the BJP held a press conference and reacted to it. “The symphony between the two is something that people of Delhi should understand… BJP aur Imam sahib ke sur mil rahe hain, resonance hai, bahut ghazab ki hai. It is not a coincidence, it is an attempt to communalise the atmosphere”.
At the BJP press conference, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who described AAP leaders as “the faces of anarchy”, said “the correct answer to such fatwas ( Imam’s appeal for support to AAP) is through the ballot”.
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