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Congress ready for talks with Muslim Board

india Updated: Mar 23, 2010 17:00 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
Hindustan Times
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With Lucknow Declaration of All India Muslim Personal Law Board snowballing into major political controversy, the Congress on Tuesday made it clear that it was ready to discuss the contentious issues raised by the board. The party also said that Board’s stand against Prevention of Communal Violence Bill and Liberhan Commission Report was also because of communication gap.

Since the Congress has been making desperate efforts to win over Muslim community in UP, it could ill-afford to antagonize the board. The Samajwadi Party has already extended support to the board’s demands of amendment in Bill and proper implementation Liberhan report.

Thus the AICC minority department chairman Imran Kidwai told Hindustan Times on Tuesday “Congress is ready to discuss suggestions mooted by the board”.

“If the suggestions on the Bill and Liberhan Commission report are acceptable we will go ahead accordingly”, Kidwai said and added, “the board however should not interfere in foreign policy matter”. The board has called for reconsideration of ties with Israel.

The UP Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari however said there was some communication gap that led to this situation. The party would sort it out, he said and added once the board delegation meets the central leaders all confusion would be cleared.

However deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha K Rahman Khan, who was inducted into the AIMPLB as member during three-day session here last week, disagreed with the board decisions.

Rahman told HT over phone “the board should confine itself to Shariat law and political issues should be left to other organizations”. Rahman said he would take up the issue with the board. He said a full-fledged debate was required over these issues before incorporating them into the declaration.

Interestingly the Congress leaders, both Rahman and Kidwai rejected the board’s suggestion on Indo-Israel relationship. While Kidwai said foreign policy was always framed in the national and not in any community’s interest, Rahman pointed out “the foreign policy could not stagnate”.

In view of Israel’s demolition drive of Holy mosque Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, the AIMPLB has demanded reconsideration of diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. The board wanted the Congress-led UPA government to go back to “Nehruvian policy” in Israel. However Rahman, laying stress on overall welfare of Muslims, said, “community perspective could not reflect in national foreign policy”. Kidwai said “the world has changed and foreign policy is always in the interest of the nation and not for any particular community”.