Darul rector says he'll quit on Feb 15
Darul Uloom Deoband rector Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi on Tuesday said he would step down on February 15 — a fall-out of his alleged praise of a fellow Gujarati, chief minister Narendra Modi, which sent rivals gunning for him.
"I have decided not to continue. I don't want to blame anybody. I will put in my papers to the shoora (governing council) on February 15," he told HT from Deoband.
Vastanvi said there was dissent over him not being a Deoband native.
"Powerful" rivals — who he did not name — were using "distorted media reports" to rail against him, he said.
"Certain people are trying to create a divide between me and the students. They are not in favour of my continuing."
Vastanvi had beaten prominent Muslim leader Arshad Madni by four votes to become the first person from outside UP to head Darul Uloom — the seat of Sunni Islam in Uttar Pradesh's Deoband.
Darul has traditionally been the bastion of the Madnis -- Arshad Madni and his nephew, Rajya Sabha MP Mahmood Madni.
Vastanvi faced a violent uprising on returning to campus on Sunday, with students yelling at him and putting up a blockade. One student was seriously hurt in the clashes.
Vastanvi courted controversy after a newspaper quoted him as praising Modi. In an interview to HT on January 21, he had denied this.
Modi is often blamed for not preventing the 2002 rioting that killed 800-odd Muslims.