Muslim Cleric MoS in UP Cabinet, BJP Cries Politics

Muslim Cleric MoS in UP Cabinet, BJP Cries Politics

Uttar Pradesh government has appointed prominent Muslim cleric of Barelvi sect Mohd Tauqeer Raza Khan as advisor in handloom department - a Minister of State status, triggering criticism from BJP, which said it was done to woo Muslim voters.

Khan, who is Itihaad-e-Millat Council president and belongs to Bareilly, was appointed on May 27, official sources said today.

Besides, Shripati Singh of Basti district has been appointed as member of the state planning commission, and K P Singh of Etawah as advisor in Ayush department.

Commenting on Khan's appointment, BJP urged Governor B L Joshi to reverse the decision to accord Minister of State status to him, saying it was done with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls and especially to woo Muslim voters.

BJP alleged that after his appointment, Khan had said that although the Council would continue to exist, it would not contest Lok Sabha elections, but support the Samajwadi Party with which it would have an alliance.

"From this it is clear that the MoS status has been accorded to woo Muslim voters with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls," the party alleged.

Referring to the financial assistance given by the Samajwadi Party government to the family members of terror suspect Khalid Mujahid, who died in police custody, BJP chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the Governor should also intervene in the matter to stop the aid.

A delegation led by state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai met the Governor and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

Pathak said his party has also demanded that financial assistance of Rs 6 lakh to Mujahid's family should be stopped as it was unjustified.

An accused in Faizabad and Lucknow court blasts in the 2007 Mujahid died of illness in Barabanki while being taken to Lucknow jail from the hearing in a Faizabad court on May 18.

The government had on Sunday last announced a financial assistance of Rs 6 lakh to his family members.

Hitting back at BJP, ruling SP accused it of spreading communalism ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

"SP is in favour of secularism and communal harmony, whereas BJP is working on the agenda of spreading hatred towards Muslims," party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary alleged.

He alleged that spreading canard towards Akhilesh Yadav government has become the main work of the BJP.

SP in its election manifesto had promised that innocent youths lodged in the jail in fake terror cases would be released, he said.

Chaudhary said that legally there was nothing wrong in it and there was no logic of keeping the innocent behind the bars.

He said that there was nothing unconstitutional in extending financial assistance to the kin of the victim.

"BJP is creating confusion by terming it as Muslim appeasement," he alleged.

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