Anna Hazare’s associates Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi met Jama Masjid Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari in New Delhi after he expressed unhappiness over their failure to involve Muslims into their campaign, but failed to break ice with the cleric.
Mr. Bukhari had expressed strong resentment and sought to know why Mr. Hazare and his campaign managers had not done more to involve Muslims in their anti-graft movement.
Following his remarks, Team Anna members met him at his residence late last night in their attempt to clear his apprehensions and invite the Delhi’s top cleric to the Ramlila Maidan where Mr. Hazare is fasting.
Mr. Bukhari said he had told the activists that they also need to address the issues of concern to the Muslim community.
“We discussed at length the issues of our concern. I laid before them my point of view in totality. They in turn informed us about their campaign and their goals,” Mr. Bukhari told PTI on Tuesday.
He said Mr. Hazare’s team members had also asked him to share the stage with them at Ramlila Maidan but he was not inclined to go ahead.
“I told them that if you want to include Muslims in your movement, you will also have to understand their pain and problems, and you would do well to also highlight issues of concern to Muslims,” he said, adding the greater evil in the country is communalism and any national movement should also address it.
“They said they would consider the points raised by me,” he said.
Mr. Bukhari said the “communal powers” were also playing a part in the campaign and they would never want Muslims to be active participants.