Archive for March 29th, 2009

Ulema want Cong-NCP to field at least five Muslims – TOI | Ulema vow to defeat CONG-NCP – Jyoti Punwani

March 29, 2009

http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/4329075.cms

Ulema want Cong-NCP to field at least five Muslims

29 Mar, 2009 0303hrs IST TNN[ Mohammed Wajihuddin ]

MUMBAI: Muslim clerics, representing almost all the Sunni sects like Deobandis, Barelvis and Ahl-e-Hadees, have raised the banner of revolt against the Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra. The ulemas have unanimously given an ultimatum to Congress-NCP leaders to field at least five Muslim candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in the state failing which they will campaign against the UPA candidates. At a meeting, attended by over 50 imams of different mosques in the city and heads of dozens of faith-based Muslim organisations, at Islam Gykmkhana on Saturday, the ulemas passed a resolution which can add to the woes of the Congress-NCP combine. “Muslims constitute over 12% of the population in Maharashtra and we had demanded that Congress-NCP should field at least five Muslim candidates. But we’ve got just one, that too an 80-plus A R Antulay from Raigad whose winnability is doubtful due to his recent controversial remarks on the killing of Hemant Karkare in the 26/11 terror attacks,” said Maulana Athar Ali, head of the All India Ulema Association, which had convened the meeting. Maulana Athar took a pledge from all other clerics and imams for appeals from the mosques to vote for SP’s Abu Asim Azmi (Mumbai North-West) and BSP’s Mohammed Ali Shaikh (Mumbai-South) and non-Congress and non-NCP secular candidates. When asked if the clerics’ call to Muslims will end up strengthening the saffron alliance, Maulana Athar clarified: “Muslims have been kept under this psychological fear of the saffron parties coming to power. We were better off during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in Maharashtra than we’re now under the Congress-NCP. Even the Sena-BJP will be forced to tone down their anti-Muslim agenda if they see our support coming their way.” The clerics who had invited several Muslim NGOs and activists for consultation debated the strategy—vote at any cost, if not for the victory of other secular candidates, then to defeat the Congress-NCP.

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http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=15&contentid=2009032920090329044207893e34abee9 (A TIMES OF INDIA PUBLICATION)

Ulema vow to defeat CONG-NCP

Say they will root for rivals unless ruling combine gives tickets to at least five Muslims from state by April 2

By Jyoti Punwani Posted On Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 04:42:07 AM

Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi and (below left) Mohd Ali Shaikh from the Bahujan Samaj Party Angry with the Congress for not giving tickets to Muslims, and for not accommodating Muslim candidates from other ‘secular’ parties, a section of the city’s ulema on Saturday resolved to work for the defeat of the Congress-NCP combine – unless it declared the names of at least five Muslim candidates from Maharashtra by April 2. The meet, called by Maulana Ather Ali of the All India Ulema Council, who had contested as a Samajwadi Party candidate in the 2004 Assembly polls, also vowed to ensure the victory of the two prominent Muslim candidates from Mumbai: the Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi, standing from Mumbai North West, and the BSP’s Mohammed Ali Shaikh, contesting from Mumbai South. Maulana Ather Ali criticised the lone Muslim candidate put up by the Congress in Maharashtra – A R Antulay. He was too old; his own MLAs were against him, and he had done nothing for Muslims, he said. On the one hand, said Ather Ali, the Congress had fielded Antulay; on the other, it had spurned Amar Singh’s request that the Mumbai North West seat be left for Abu Asim Azmi, to prevent a split in the ‘secular vote’. This, despite the fact that the Congress had no strong contender there. Meraj Siddiqui of the Samajwadi Party exhorted the ulema to use their clout in the community. For starters, they could use the Friday sermon to hammer home the importance of voting instead of staying home on polling day. He also held up the BSP as a role model. For years Kanshiram kept fielding BSP candidates, knowing they would not win. But he ensured the defeat of the ruling party, till every ruling party was chastened into asking for the BSP’s support. About 50 imams from masjids across Mumbai attended the meet held at Islam Gymkhana. But beyond the rhetoric, lie two harsh facts: a section of the ulema, led by Maulana Dariyabadi, general secretary of the Ulema Council, have decided to go with the United Democratic Front led by Maulana Ajmal. Secondly, privately, many ulema admit there’s little chance of the BSP candidate Md Ali Shaikh winning Mumbai South.

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BOTH ABU ASIM AZMI AND MOHAMMED ALI HAVE DEEP GRASS ROOT SUPPORT IN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES AND DESERVE TO BE ELECTED TO LEAD MUSLIM CAUSE IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT. THEIR VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO THE WELFARE OF AAM AADMI IS WIDELY KNOWN AND ACKNOWLEDGED.

GHULAM MUHAMMED, MUMBAI