Under fire for his reported remarks praising the Narendra Modi government, Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, Mohtamim or rector, of Darul Uloom, Deoband, has resigned. He was appointed only on January 10.

Maulana Vastanvi, however, made it clear to journalists that he did not resign under pressure after protests by a section of clerics and students. He maintained that he was “misquoted,” and his remarks were blown out of proportion.

A meeting of the ‘Majlis-e-Shoora' (supreme governing council) of Darul Uloom has been called for February 15 to take a final call on his resignation. He will attend the meeting. Until a decision is taken, the Maulana will continue as ‘Mohtamim,' said sources in Deoband.

The Maulana, an MBA, was appointed rector following the death of his predecessor Maulana Marghoobur Rahman. Soon after, he sparked a controversy, saying Muslims too benefitted from the development initiative of the Gujarat Chief Minister. Maulana Vastanvi belongs to Surat.

His remarks were condemned by students and a section of clerics. The seminary was on the boil.