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Remove Vilasrao, Muslim leaders tell Sonia

Remove Vilasrao, Muslim leaders tell Sonia

Author: Dharmesh Thakkar
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: July 11, 2000

Pressure is mounting on chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh from the Congress high command to appease the minorities in Maharashtra. Muslim leaders and ulemas had raised concern at the rising number of attacks on minorities in the state.

The office bearers and members of various Muslim organisations led by advocate Syyed Jalaluddin had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday evening to inform he about their grievances with the Deshmukh government. Muslim leaders and ulemas including maulana Mustaqueem Azmi, general secretary of All India Ulema Council, Syed Akhtar Ali, All India Muslims Rights Protection Board chairman, maulana Yasin Akhtar Misbahi, vice president of All India Muslim Personal Law Council and advocate Syyed Jalalludin discussed the atrocities committed on the Muslim community by the police and the indifferent attitude of Vilasrao Deshmukh towards their sufferings.

"There is strong feeling amongst the minorities that the Vilasrao Deshmukh government in Maharashtra is soft towards fascist, communal and reactionary forces. Despite the doubtful secular credentials of Vilasrao Deshmukh, Congress had to accept him as chief minister because of the political necessities of the situation at the cost of others," alleged advocate Syyed Jalaluddin.

According to the advocate Syyed, the Congress president had assured them of protecting the minorities and expressed her regrets to the delegations. "Soniaji was sympathetic to our anguish and suffering which could not be redressed by the Deshmukh government.

She was surprised that the behaviour of state home minister Kripashankar Singh in withdrawing cases against Thackeray and his visit to Matoshree to make an announcement regarding security to be provided for every Shiv Sena goon in Mumbai," claimed maulana Mustaqueem Azmi.

The delegation complained against the "double-speak" of Mr Kripashankar Singh and accused him of supporting the communal forces. The ulemas also raised questions on Mr Singh's relations with Mr Bal Thackeray, Mr Uddhav Thackeray and several BJP and RSS leaders.

"Kripashankar Singh had hosted dinner parties for RSS protégé and former Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Rajnath Mishra, rebel Congress leader Naresh Aggarwal, shared a dais with former BJP MP Virendra Singh and Samajwadi general secretary Amar Singh, which has sent wrong signals to the Muslim community," explained Syed Akhtar Ali.

A memorandum was presented to Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking for the implementation of the Srikrishna Commission immediately by the Maharashtra government.
 


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