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Qureshi to boycott session

THE STATE Haj and Minority Department is in a mess. The department minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi has not been attending the office for the last one month.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 01:27 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

THE STATE Haj and Minority Department is in a mess. The department minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi has not been attending the office for the last one month.

Now the minister has also decided to stay away from the State Assembly session commencing tomorrow. The minister had shot off a letter to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav in early April, complaining about indifference of the government towards the problems of the Muslim community and since then has been staying away from the office. The minister had accused senior officers at the chief minister’s office of being apathetic towards the problems.

“Even after a month there is no response from the chief minister” Qureshi told Hindustan Times on phone from Meerut on Wednesday. While boycotting the office, the minister has now decided to stay away from the State Assembly proceedings. “I have no plan to attend the session”, Qureshi said and added that the government was not interested in the welfare of the Muslim community.

He said there was no work in the department.

The minister is now up with a bigger game plan to mobilise the community under the banner of Muslim Vikas Manch. The manch would be organising its first rally in Delhi on May 14 to “demonstrate the strength of the community”, as the minister put it. While inviting people from all Muslim sects, Qureshi has kept off Muslim ministers and MLAs from UP. However he said “they are welcome as members of the community but not as ministers”.

But there is no invitation to Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan as “he is not a Muslim”, Qureshi commented. He said the rally would highlight the problems of the community in the State and the government’s failure in solving them. Even though Qureshi said it would be a national rally, with all available indications the agenda is likely to be UP-centric, as the minister has stakes in the State. The rally is aimed at driving a wedge between the community and the ruling Samajwadi Party.

First Published: May 11, 2006 01:27 IST