Hours after Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari announced his support to Congress, Delhi BJP today came down heavily on him and urged the Muslims not to fall into his trap.
Bukhari, who is considered an influential religious leader, appealed to Muslims to support Congress and ensure that secular voters are not divided. His appeal came days after his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi sparked a row.
Addressing a press conference here, senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who is the chairman of Delhi BJP Lok Sabha Election Committee, said: "He (Bukhari) changes his stand every time. He sometimes appeals to Muslims to vote for BSP, but at another time he seeks votes for other parties. In this election, he has now come forward to support Congress and TMC." Malhotra claimed that Muslims do not follow his advice and BJP wants them not to fall into his trap. "BJP is the only party which cares for the minority community", he said.
He said that BJP has appealed to the Election Commission that it should stop Bukhari from making any appeal in favour of Congress Party from the premises of Jama Masjid. "As per Election Commission's directives, appealing for votes from any religious place such as Temple, Gurudwara, Church, Masjid etc or using them for election campaign is a violation of Model Code of Conduct," Malhotra said.
The BJP leader alleged that Congress has no effective Muslim leaders and was bowing down to a "communal" person such as Imam. "Worried over greatest defeat in history, the Congress' president Sonia Gandhi is taking the shelter of Imam of Jama Masjid, which is communal act. BJP is the secular party while Congress is the communal party," he claimed.
Malhotra also slammed the 'sting' operation, conducted by Cobrapost, on the Babri Masjid demolition and questioned the timing of it and termed it as "sponsored" operation. Asked if BJP would seek votes on the issue of Ram Temple, he said that let the party's manifesto come and you (reporters) would get to know about this matter.
Meanwhile, BJP has also filed complaint against AAP to the Election Commission of India for violation of Model Code of Conduct by invoking communal agendas in its manifesto.
"AAP has stated in their manifesto that they would provide "swift dispensation of justice for Muslims youths arrested on charges of terrorist activity", which was a violation of Mode Code of Conduct," Malhotra said.