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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Former UP minister writes to PM, wants trust for mosque too

lucknow Updated: Nov 17, 2019 00:32 IST

Former Uttar Pradesh minister Ammar Rizvi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about setting up a trust for construction of a mosque on the lines of one that the Supreme Court has directed for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.

Ammar Rizvi, who heads the All India Minorities Forum For Democracy, joined the BJP in Delhi a little ahead of the Supreme Court’s November 9 Ayodhya verdict.

In his letter to the PM, Rizvi has advocated that the mosque should come up about 25 to 30 kilometres from the place where the Ram temple is to be built and it should ideally have a campus that also houses a university and a hospital.

“I believe education is one sector that the community needs badly. So a mosque in the same campus where a university and a hospital are housed would be perfect symbolism highlighting that along with religion, the minorities need education most. PM Modi’s vision is of a community that holds the holy Quran in one hand and a computer in the other and that’s why I have written to him on this aspect,” he said.

Rizvi, who was a key minister in the Congress government under ND Tiwari in Uttar Pradesh, feels that had it not been for a few vested interests, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was in favour of paving the way for temple construction to end the age-old discord.

“That didn’t happen then. But since the past can’t be undone, I feel that now people from each others’ faith should be included in the trust for temple as well as a trust that I feel should come up for a mosque too. The trust for construction of a mosque is necessary as otherwise it would needlessly raise controversies no matter how honest individual efforts for construction of a mosque are,” he said.

Rizvi said he had made out a case for keeping people from each others’ faith in both the trust for the temple as well as the trust for the mosque.

“Keeping people like Iqbal Ansari in trust for temple and some Hindus in the trust that I believe should be set up for construction of mosque would help showcase the spirit of togetherness that has been displayed post verdict,” Rizvi said.

He also lashed out at those Muslim leaders who still want to challenge the Supreme Court verdict.

“There are leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi who have said that they need a mosque. Some others have also struck discordant notes. But I feel these people are actually going back on their word after having committed to abide by the SC verdict whatever it might be,” Rizvi said.