The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Friday rejected the appeal of Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, to Muslims to vote for the AAP in Saturday’s assembly polls in Delhi. “The AAP seems to be in a position to form the government, and we must give them strength,” Bukhari of the 17th century Jama Masjid in Old Delhi said earlier in the day.
The AAP quickly rejected his unsolicited support, accusing the Imam of practicing communal politics. “We not only reject the offer by Bukhari but also condemn his politics and what he stands and the ideology he stands for,” AAP leader Ashish Khetan told reporters.
Khetan said Bukhari’s past utterances symbolized communalism. He added that when Bukhari annointed his son as the Jama Masjid’s Naib Imam, he had invited the Pakistani prime minister but not the Indian prime minister. Muslims account for over 11 percent of Delhi’s nearly 17 million population. In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Bukhari called upon Muslims to vote for the Congress. (IANS)