Amir Rashadi Madni, 53, founded the Rashtriya Ulama Council (RUC) — a political party born in 2008 out of Delhi’s Batala House encounter— decided to contest the elections in his native Azamgarh after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav chose it as his second seat after Mainpuri.
He is expected to cut into Muslim votes in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Excerpts from an interview:
Why are you contesting?
I did not want to. But when Mulayam became the candidate here, my party asked me to contest against him. It was of the view that only its president should contest against the chief of another party — just the way Arvind Kejriwal is contesting against Narendra Modi in Varanasi. If Mulayam was so keen to stop Modi, why did he not choose Varanasi over Azamgarh?
Why against Mulayam Singh Yadav?
I will reply with this verse: Teri chaahat mein ae Mulayam hum darbadar ho gaye/Apni hasti se hi bekhabar ho gaye/Tum sanwar kar ae sanam Saifai ho gaye/hum ujad kar Muzzafarnagar ho gaye (Muslims all these years loved Mulayam, but he focused on his village Saifai, family, own political interests and ignored Muslims. While Yadavs and their village Saifai flourished, Muslims suffered and got Muzzafarnagar riots).
So it took one riot for you to turn anti-Mulayam?
Not one; UP had 138 riots in 2012 and 247 in 2013 as per a home ministry report. If Muslims are not able to forgive Modi for one Godhra, how will they forgive Mulayam for so many riots? Muslims are being exploited in the name of secularism. Muslims loved Mulayam like no other leader, but he disappointed us.
What is your take on Modi?
Modi and Mulayam are the same. If Allah wants Modi to become PM, no force on earth can stop him. And if Allah doesn’t want him to be PM, no force of earth can make him one.
When, why and how did you form RUC?
I founded it in October 2008. We had assembled a protest group in UP following the killing of two Azamgarh youth in the Batla House encounter. We wanted an investigation into the encounter. But no one was listening to us. I took three trainloads of protestors to Delhi to demand a judicial probe. We converted the protest group into RUC, a political party, and contested the 2009 LS and 2012 UP assembly polls.
Does your party have a future?
For 66 years, Muslims have been a mere vote bank for political parties, just the way dalits are. Others attract Muslims votes by instilling the fear of Sangh (RSS) or BJP or Modi, as is the case now. It is high time Muslims created their political leadership. The RUC will become that political force in five years.