In a bid to woo Muslim voters, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met Muslim leaders at Arabia Riyazul Uloom Guraini Madarsa, in Jaunpur, on Saturday. He also had his lunch there.
During his 50-minute stay at the madrasa, Gandhi held a closed-door meeting with prominent Muslim personalities, including Hashim Ferozabadi, Prof Javed Khan, Siraj Mehandi, Mohammad Ashad Rashid and Mohammad Abu Bakar.
Gandhi was given a rousing welcome by the residents on his way to the madrasa.
At 2.50pm, Gandhi reached the madrasa with 32 select leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, MLA Ajay Rai, Jaunpur district unit president Indrabhuvan Singh and others. Gandhi was served food prepared by cooks, especially called from Delhi and Lucknow. The menu included vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, including ‘paneer ki sabzi’ and ‘roomali roti’.
The madrasa authorities thanked Rahul for paying a visit to the institution.
Congress MLA Nadim Javed, who represents Jaunpur Sadar assembly constituency, had deployed his associates Sheikh Abdullah and Rahil Abdullah, to look after the arrangements.
Mohammad Akhtar, who also looked after the arrangements, said that he was happy that he was including in the team.
Sheikh and Akhtar remained awake till late night and after taking a nap for an hour, they reached the venue during wee hours. SPG personnel reached the spot in the morning and checked the menu.
Meanwhile, Congress members showered flower petals on Rahul Gandhi as he entered Jaunpur to hold a road show.
Addressing the gathering at Shahganj, Rahul said the Prime Minister should change his minset and added that he had no objection if he returned favours taken from industrialists during election, but he should not forget the farmers.
“Modiji promised that Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in every account. Instead of keeping his words, he put on a suit worth Rs 15 lakh. He ignored the farmers,” Rahul said.