Ahead of polls, RJD, TMC want Imams to be paid

Trinamool Congress flag
New Delhi, Aug 21: Eyeing the Muslim vote bank ahead of assembly elections in West Bengal and Bihar, Trinamool Congress and RJD have demanded the implementation of a Supreme Court order that provides salaries to imams of government-aided mosques.

"Congress has only indulged in vote ki rajniti (votebank politics). It only seeks votes from the minorities but does little for their welfare," RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav told reporters outside Parliament.

"Once we return to power in Bihar, we will implement the decision in the state," he added.

The Trinamool Congress supported RJD's stand on the 17-year-old apex court order.

"Imams in West Bengal were in a bad state and facing economic crisis," said Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sudip Bandhyopadhyay.

Rejecting suggestions that the party had raised the issue keeping the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections in mind, he said, "Minorities are already with Mamata ji...I defeated a Muslim candidate to reach the Lok Sabha though my constituency has 4 lakh linguistic minorities."

"They constitute 28 per cent of the state's population," he observed, noting that the state had the third largest number of Muslims in India after Jammu Kashmir and Assam.

OneIndia News

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