A group of Muslim clerics met UP Chief Minsiter Mayawati on Wednesday to applaud her decision to oppose the nuclear deal. Samajwadi Party rebel MP Munnawar Hasan, along with a rebel MLA Gauri Shankar, declared that even if the SP issued a whip to support the UPA on the issue, they would vote against it. A third MLA, Qadir Rana of Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, too joined the chorus against the deal.
The Muslim clerics included All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) vice-chairman Dr Kalbe Sadiq; Naib Imam of the Lucknow Idgah, Maulana Khalid Rashid; and other prominent figures. They had been equally vocal in support of the SP when it was in power, and had issued an appeal to voters to support the SP in the last assembly elections.
Though officially still in the SP, Hasan, who has changed party affiliations more than once, had recently announced his decision to quit the SP and join the BSP. The BSP has already nominated him for the next Lok Sabha elections. “Support to the nuclear deal is tantamount to back-stabbing Muslims. Muslims across the world are opposed to the US,” said Hasan, charging that the SP had compromised so that Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh would be protected from the CBI cases lodged against them.
“We are opposed to the nuclear deal and any party extending support to the Congress will be opposed,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid.