Minister?s advice to Jawad: Stick to your religious affairs | india | Hindustan Times
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Minister?s advice to Jawad: Stick to your religious affairs

MINISTER FOR Minor Irrigation Shaqir Ali on Friday flayed the People?s Democratic Front (PDF) chairman Kalbe Jawad and said the new political outfit had no political base and was the outcome of a calculated Congress move.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 01:16 IST

MINISTER FOR Minor Irrigation Shaqir Ali on Friday flayed the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) chairman Kalbe Jawad and said the new political outfit had no political base and was the outcome of a calculated Congress move.

Shaqir Ali also called upon Muslims to support reservation for the backward classes if the minority community wanted to protect its own interests. He was talking to media persons at his Vidhan Bhawan office here today.

Taking a dig at Jawad, the minister said religious leaders should restrict themselves to religious affairs and better leave the political job to other leaders of the community. “None of these religious leaders has more then a dozen votes,” said Ali.

This is probably the first direct attack by a minister of Mulayam Singh Yadav government against Jawad who had been launching repeated attacks on Samajwadi Party ever since he formed his political outfit. Replying to a question Ali said Muslim leadership had not been allowed to develop over the years. Many political outfits were being formed only for the purpose of political trading and get nominations to the state legislative council or Rajya Sabha, he said.

Ali also flayed the religious clerics for what he called adopting dual standards and said none of them spoke out against the Congress president Sonia Gandhi when she was contesting by-election at Rae Bareli. “The by-election could have been used to settle scores,” said Ali adding the clerics had openly opposed Congress for its stand on the cartoonist issue.

Referring to the reservation issue, Ali said it was high time that the Muslims should come out openly in support of backward classes. “How could 90 per cent of the population be deprived of its right,” said Ali adding only those sitting on ivory towers were opposing the reservation for the backward classes.