All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board general secretary Maulana Syed Mohd Ashraf Kachochavi made a strong pitch for a Madrasa Board saying: “Right now the madrasas are under the control of Wahabi-inspired organisations which run on Saudi money. The ideology they teach and spread is hardline Wahabism. These organisations have put pressure on the government not to enact the Act. We want the funds to go to the really needy and poor.”
Remarkably, the Maha Panchayat appeared to have been boycotted by the influential Urdu press. Last week, when the Board held a press conference in Delhi, Urdu journalists were openly hostile to the organisers, arguing that the AIUMB was trying to divide Muslims, and was no different from the Sangh Parivar, which saw all Muslims as terrorists.
When journalists brought up the issue of the AIUMB's political leanings on Sunday, AIUMB members insisted that they were apolitical. However, Maulana Kachochavi made it clear that the AIUMB was opposed to the Congress, “which propped up hardline organisations like the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.” Asked if the AIUMB would put up its own candidates in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, he admitted that it was an idea they were considering, as “that seems to be the only way to make people and the government hear us.” But for now, “we will vote whoever supports all our demands.”