RSS-BACKED Muslim Rashtriya Manch’s (MRM) city unit split vertically on Saturday with a breakaway group led by city unit chief Riyaz Khan joining the Congress and extending support to party candidate Nana Patole from Nagpur. Those who joined Congress also included city unit convener Sushila Sinha and state unit co-convener Ikra Khan.
The split was announced by Riyaz Khan at a press conference, also attended by Patole.
Khan said that the MRM was treating Muslims in a stepmotherly fashion. “I have joined Congress along with over 5,000 workers. I will campaign for Patole, as the Congress has promised to fulfil the demands, which the BJP has failed to take up,” he added.
“The Hindu Halba community is also with us. Nitin Gadkari (Union Minister and BJP candidate from Nagpur) had promised to solve their long pending caste validity problem. But he didn’t do it. The Muslim community had demanded that the caste validity of Chapparbandh Shah community, which falls in the VJNT category, be settled. Our state unit convener, Mohammad Farooq, had given several representations to Gadkari but nothing was done. So, we decided to quit the Manch and join Congress,” he added.
When contacted, Farooq said, “It is true that there have been some grievances. But I had asked them to be patient. Today, over 250 of our workers have joined Congress.”
The city unit had caused a flutter last year by demanding that the RSS should host Iftaar party on its premises. The RSS had declined the request.