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Two days after Nahukda Masjid Imam alleged that there was little truth in the government’s claims that over 90 per cent works for minorities have been completed, the Bangiyo Sakhyalaghu Buddhijibi Mancha on Thursday claimed that Mohammed Shafique Qasmi had lied.
“He has lied. He doesn’t know facts and I believe he spoke under influence,” Sheik Mohammed Oyazul Haque, president of the Mancha, told mediapersons.
“Recently, religious leaders have been demanding development of their respective areas. I want to ask these leaders, who want railway tracks, better roads and streetlights for their areas that if they are religious leaders, why can’t they ask the same for Muslims across the state?” Haque asked.
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Some SSC empanelled candidates, who were present at the press conference, objected to Haque’s statements and a heated argument followed. On Tuesday, Qasmi had also alleged that Muslim candidates who had cleared SSC examinations have been deprived of jobs.
“How can you call the Imam a liar, who leads thousands of Muslims during prayers every day? What Qasmi said makes perfect sense and he had substantiated everything with figures. We have been losing out on all opportunities in spite of all the promises made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Haque should tender an unconditional apology to the Imam,” said Amjad Ali Gaji, a SSC candidate.
When contacted, Qasmi said he had no intention to start a fight with the state government but only stated facts. “I have said what I had to, on the basis of figures available with me… If these people claim they have done a lot for Muslims, let them come out with authentic figures,” he added.
Haque, besides being the president of the Mancha, is also reportedly a member of the TMC state core committee. Estranged Trinamool leader Mukul Roy, the chairman of the Mancha’s advisory committee, has also said recently that not all promises made to Muslims have been fulfilled.
“I have not heard what Mukul Roy had said but last time when I spoke to him, he said a lot of work has been done for Muslims here,” said Haque, refusing to comment on whether over 90 per cent of the works for Muslims have been completed, as claimed by Mamata.
Roy, speaking over phone from Delhi, said: “As I had said, more work has been done for minorities when compared to the CPM rule, but a lot remains to be done. I will not comment on whether over 90 per cent works have been completed or not.”
Furfura Sharif pirzada Taha Siddiqui too, a few days ago, had said that Muslims have been deprived of jobs and that the government was yet to fulfill most of the promises made to Muslims.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Siddiqui said: “..While relatives of Trinamool leaders are getting election tickets, have I ever asked for anything for myself or my family? I want improvement of my area because people from four to five states come here every day to visit the shrine.”
He claimed that the demand for a railway line would have been met had it not been a Muslim pilgrimage spot. “The 18-km railway track from Dankuni to Furfura Sharif could not be laid when Mamata Banerjee, Dinesh Trivedi or Mukul Roy were Railway ministers. It would have been done had it been a railway track between Dankuni and Dakshineswar,” he said.