Jawad snubs Bukhari
HT Correspondent, Lucknow, May 20
PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC Front chairman and prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad on Saturday rejected Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari’s demand to wind up the organisation. The PDF has decided to hold an ulema (clerics) conference here on June 4.
The PDF said that apart from chalking out an action plan for the organisation, names of office-bearers would be announced at the June 4 meeting. At a meeting here on Saturday, Jawad said Bukhari’s demand was not acceptable.
The PDF once against reposed faith in the leadership of Jawad. Its constituents the Indian National League, the National Loktantrik Party (Arshad group) the Jamait Islami, the Muslim Forum and the Momin Conference attended the meeting.
During his visit earlier this week, Bukhari had asked Jawad to wind up the organisation and attend the Delhi meeting on June 10 for another front. Jawad said there was no question of attending the Delhi conference. Thus, with Jawad’s decision to go ahead with the PDF, Muslims would have another front also. Bukhari, while inviting Jawad, had asked him to dump the PDF members.
Bukhari said the PDF constituents had no base in the state.
Now moves are afoot in Delhi to mobilise the Jamiat Ulema Hind, the Jamiat Islami, the Milli Council, the Parcham Party, the Muslim Majlis the Mushawarat and leaders of the Bareilly and the Deoband sects. The Bukhari group has also planned to invite Shia Ulema from Lucknow. Although the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) would not in any way involve itself in political activities, its senior member Zafaryab Jilani said he supported the move by Bukhari for a front.
Minorities split in UP
New Delhi, May 18: Rivalry among leaders has frustrated efforts to form a unified political front for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh in a repeat of the successful Assam experiment.
Within days of the supposedly pan-Muslim People’s Democratic Front (PDF) being floated with an eye on next year’s Assembly polls, the state is set to witness the birth of two other parties, each claiming to represent the entire community.
The leaders of the three parties are from different constituencies within the community: Shia, Sunni and backward Muslims.
The PDF, born out of a collective effort by several Muslim organisations and religious scholars, is headed by Lucknow-based Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad.
The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, a Sunni, plans to launch his own outfit on June 10. The third party will be led by state minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, the man who put a Rs 51-crore prize on the head of the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammad.
Qureshi is about to break his ties with the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, which he has dubbed “anti-Muslim”, unless it meets a list of demands relating to backward Muslims within three months.
“If the chief minister fails to fulfil the demands… I will quit the government on August 15 and announce a separate party for our community,” the minister has said.
Bukhari is understood to have joined the PDF as its chief patron, but has now distanced himself from it.
“My name was associated with PDF without my consent. The PDF has been formed by people who have no base. We have called a meeting on June 10 at Jama Masjid to form a true party for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh,” Bukhari said.
None of the three groups, which have already started criticising one another, has the backing of the two biggest Muslim religious organisations in the state. The Jamait-ul-Ulema-e-Hind and Nadvat-ul Ulema, which had initially shown interest in the initiative, have decided to keep away from state politics.
In Assam, Muslim organisations had formed a single party, the Assam United Democratic Front, which won 10 seats in the recent polls.