The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has severed his year-long turbulent relationship with the Samajwadi Party after he sent in the resignations of his son-in-law and MLC Umar Ali Khan and Civil Defence Council chairman Waseem Ahmad to Mulayam Singh on Saturday. They were the Shahi Imam’s nominees.
The resignations were sent along with a letter addressed by Maulana Bukhari to Mr. Singh informing him about his decision to snap ties with the Samajwadi Party.
Confirming the decision, the Shahi Imam told The Hindu over phone from Delhi that Muslims were still waiting to get their due in the Samajwadi Party government. Blaming the SP chief for “taking the Muslims for granted,” the Maulana said “Muslims are not bonded labourers.”
He indicated that the minority community was capable of deciding its course and may not support the Samajwadi Party in 2014. The Maulana claimed that the minority community was feeling let down by the present regime in Uttar Pradesh and “is fast distancing itself from the SP.”
However, while Maulana Bukhari indicated that he was not averse to another round of talks with Mr. Singh, he said the discussions should be centred around solid assurances. The Shahi Imam said several SP leaders had phoned him for giving another chance (to Mulayam Singh), and his reply to them was that mere promises and assurances would not do, but something positive should be done.
Maulana Bukhari had extended his conditional support to the SP chief prior to the Assembly elections in 2012, but of late their relationship had gone sour, with the Shahi Imam accusing Mr. Singh of reneging on his promises regarding the welfare of the Muslims.
Claiming that he had been instrumental in enabling the Samajwadi Party get the support of the Muslims in the Assembly elections, the Shahi Imam said: “The Muslims voted for Mulayam Singh and not for Akhilesh Yadav, but the end result has been zero with none of the promises being fulfilled. ”