In light of the entire 'appeasing to the Muslim vote' controversy that began on Sunday, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid has said that he is not going to take any sides, adding that he won't back any political party. His stern position to deny any support comes when both the Opposition parties, Congress and Bahujan Samajwadi Party are racing to appease the Muslim voters.
This has happened after Sunday when Mayawati stirred the controversy with her polarising statement, asking the Muslims to vote for their party, and with Congress also playing along similar lines, there is a rise in competitive politics.
Shahi Imam's statement explicitly refuses to offer support to any party, states the present government's lack of policy in Kashmir and the policy of appeasement of the Muslim community right before the elections.
The same Shahi Imam that had supported Congress and RJD in 2014 says, "All parties have let us down."
His statement comes at a crucial juncture when Mayawati gave a polarising speech while addressing a rally at Deoband in Saharanpur. She appealed to Muslim voters to vote for the BSP-SP coalition (with RLD in tow) and not Congress saying that the party led by the Gandhis cannot fight the BJP.
She said, "I'm warning, especially people of the Muslim community, that Congress isn't in a position to fight BJP in UP. Only 'gathbandhan' can fight BJP. Congress knows this but they're going by mantra 'Hum jeete ya na jeete, gathbandhan nahi jeetna chahiye'. Therefore, Congress party has fielded candidates from such castes and religion which will benefit BJP. Therefore I am warning members of the Muslim community."
The BSP supremo immediately received a lot of flak from Congress and BJP leaders, even Imran Masood, the vice-president of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. Slamming Mayawati for her statements, he claimed that she appeases to Muslims when she is campaigning and post-elections she calls them traitors. "Mayawati has claimed thrice before, that Muslims are traitors. She should clarify this while campaigning for votes and appeasing to them (Muslims). After getting those votes she calls them traitors," he added.