Darul Uloom Deoband, India's most respected Islamic seminary, has not given its approval to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's bonhomie with former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh, a senior cleric said on Saturday.
Darul Uloom pro-vice chancellor Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi told IANS that the institution's head, Maulana Maghrubur Rehman, had never given his blessings to Yadav's new found friendship with Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri masjid was razed in 1992.
"Maulana Rehman never gave any assurance to Mulayam Singh, for the simple reason that we (in Deoband) do not believe in discussing or encouraging any kind of politics," Maulana Madrasi said over telephone.
Maulana Rehman, the rector, had said in a statement after Yadav's Thursday visit: "We have nothing to do with politics."
Yadav reportedly pleaded with the rector to bless him. Photographs show him touching Maulana Rehman's feet and placing the latter's hand on his own head -- to show he had the cleric's blessings.
Maulana Madrasi has shut the door of Darul Uloom to Kalyan Singh, who too has expressed a desire to visit it.
"Since Kalyan Singh's objective (is) to issue clarifications about his role in the Babri Masjid demolition, my advise to him would be to keep this institution out of the controversy," Maulana Madrasi said.
"There are so many other fora where he can issue his clarifications. We will not allow anyone to use this platform to serve their political ends," he added.