The Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan on Monday criticised Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari for misleading Muslim community at the behest of the BJP in the state. Khan counseled Bukhari to pay attention to religious activities and not to meddle in UP politics.
Sharply reacting to Bukhari’s outburst against the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow on Sunday, Khan told newsmen in Lucknow on Monday that "Ahmad Bukhari and his father Abdullah Bukhari had always been agents of BJP". Pointing out that Ahmad Bukhari had joined "Atal Behari’s yatra" in 2004 elections, Khan said "in the name of unity of Muslim community, he had been trying to help the BJP".
Admitting that diversion of even two per cent Muslim vote might have adverse impact on the SP, the minister said "Bukhari remembers Muslims only at the time of elections". He said that Bukhari, who has floated United Democratic Front (UDF) had not been doing justice with "Imamat" (leading prayer in Jama Masjid) by indulging into active politics. Khan also dared him to come to Rampur and assess his political weight.
Dubbing him "paid worker of Delhi Waqf Board", Khan said under a fake organisation (UDF) Bukhari had targeted the division of Muslim votes to help the BJP. He said since the Congress was on weak wickets in UP, Muslim’s division would only help the BJP.
Khan said Bukhari should thus avoid conspiracies against Muslims. Bukhari while accusing the SP of hobnobbing with the BJP-RSS, had also flayed Khan for working against the interest of the community. However rebutting the charge, Khan said Bukhari was in Lucknow on Sunday as agent of the BJP to deceive Muslims.
Khan refusing to join issue with SP general secretary Beni Prasad Verma over "Muslim conference" in Sultanpur on February 15, said "it is local issue". Much against the wishes of local SP unit Verma has organized a Muslim conference. Sultanpur Ulema (clerics) have given call for its boycott.
Referring to Governor TV Rajeswar’s comments against Sanskrit at Sampoornanand Sanskrit University, the minister said the Congress had stalled gubernatorial approval for Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Arabi-Persian-Urdu University in Rampur but "since Muslims were weak there was no reaction" but now there was strong reaction against Governor over his comments against Sanskrit. He said the government was still ready to revive the bill if the Congress agreed to the plan.