Despite having a controversial tenure, Syed Waseem Rizvi was re-elected unopposed on Tuesday as chairman of the UP Shia Central Board of Waqfs for the fourth consecutive term.
However, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, who officiates Friday’s prayers for the Shia community at Asafi Mosque in Lucknow and has been opposing Rizvi on various grounds, questioned his appointment by the Samajwadi Party government, who had earlier expelled him on charges of corruption and anti-party activities.
“After removing him on charges of corruption, again they (SP government) installed him as Chairman of the Waqf Board. It is backstabbing and the community will take this act of SP into account,” Jawwad said.
The cleric said he will continue to oppose Rizvi. “First have a referendum against him in Shia community and then organise protest meetings. We will not take it lying down,” Jawwad claimed.
Election to the UP Shia waqf board was conducted by the state minority welfare department. Four members of the board, including SP MLC Bukkal Nawab, MLA Shadab Fatima, Waseem Rizvi and Ashfaq Hussain were elected. Six other members — N H Rizvi, Akhtar Hasan Rizvi, Syed Wali Haider, Syed Sajid Ali, Afshan Zaidi and Syed Azim Hussain— were nominated by the state government. Rizvi, whose name was proposed by SP MLC Bukkal Nawab, was elected unanimously among these 10 board members.
Unfazed over opposition from Jawwad, Rizvi said he will take the work of his previous tenure forward. “Now, he should not be taken seriously. We will continue on our previous policies. All corrupt Mutawallis (caretakers) of waqf properties will be sacked. Now graveyard land cannot be sold,” the waqf chairman said.
Claiming that Rizvi will be the last chairmanship of the waqf board in UP’s history, Jawwad said, “He has been given charge for five years and during that period no waqf property will remain and everything will be sold off. So there will be no waqf board and no need of a chairman.”
Rizvi, in his previous tenure, had sacked 100 Mutawallis including Kalbe Jawwad. Notices were issued to all caretakers for allegedly selling graveyard land under their custody.
Earlier, Jawwad had also targeted state minority welfare and waqf minister Azam Khan, which lead to a war of words between them. He also led a protest in Lucknow during which one protestor had died.