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Bukhari backs Cong, TMC

Bukhari backs Cong, TMC
Highlights

Shahi Imam of Delhi\'s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Friday declared his support to Congress saying it will \"strengthen\" secularism and termed communalism as \"bigger threat\" to the country than corruption.

Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari backs Cong, TMCNew Delhi: Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Friday declared his support to Congress saying it will "strengthen" secularism and termed communalism as "bigger threat" to the country than corruption. Bukhari appealed to Muslims to support Congress and ensure that secular votes are not divided, days after his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi sparked a row. He also announced supporting Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and Congress ally RJD in Bihar. "For the coming Lok Sabha elections, I announce support for the Congress. We have to fight unitedly against communal forces," he said at a press conference here.

Bukhari said a decision to support the Congress party was taken as the "country cannot be allowed to go to the communal forces". "The nation faces danger from communal forces. We should ensure secular votes are not divided," the Imam said. The announcement by Bukhari came three days after his meeting with Gandhi that raised hackles of BJP, which accused her of communalizing politics and said it was case of violation of the model code of conduct.

Bukhari said he will support Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and not Congress. On supporting TMC, he said Mamata Banerjee has already made it clear that she will not join NDA and that is why he will back her. "I am giving my opinion as a voter. I am free to give my opinion as no rules stop me from doing so. This is for people to decide whether they accept my appeal or not. In the last 65 years, no party has worked for the welfare of Muslims.

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