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UP Govt distances itself from Yaqoob

THE STATE Government today distanced itself from the announcement of Minister for Haj and Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi fixing a price on the head of the Danish cartoonist. The government made its stand clear on an adjournment motion on the issue in the Vidhan Parishad.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 01:38 IST

THE STATE Government today distanced itself from the announcement of Minister for Haj and Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi fixing a price on the head of the Danish cartoonist. The government made its stand clear on an adjournment motion on the issue in the Vidhan Parishad.

House leader and Family Welfare Minister Ahmad Hasan said it was Yaqoob’s personal statement and not in the capacity of a minister.

However, asking BJP members, who had tabled the motion, to shake off “Yaqoob phobia”, the minister said the minister’s comments were a reflection of anger in the Muslim community. Hasan also associated himself with the “anger of Yaqoob”.

Assailing the BJP of communalising the issue, the minister said resentment was brewing in the country, which was amply demonstrated in Lucknow rally on February 19. The minister said instead of sympathising with Muslims, the BJP had been trying to protect the cartoonist.

The minister also utilised the opportunity to blast the Congress-led UPA Government for inviting the US President George Bush. Hasan claimed that “hatred” against Bush was rampant in the community. He said Congress had played with the sentiments of the community by inviting Bush.

Earlier moving the motion Prof Shyam Nandan Singh (BJP) said even after making highly objectionable statement, the minister had been continuing in the government. He said nobody had the right to hurt the religious feeling of the people, but the minister’s act was equally condemnable. He said despite efforts, the police had not registered FIR against the minister. Referring to the paintings of MF Hussain, the BJP members said there was also no respect for the feelings of the majority community.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 01:38 IST