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Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in vortex of power struggle

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 26: Bitter wrangling is on for the control of the country's most prominent Muslim organisation -- the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind -- between the late patriarch Asad Madani's son and his brother, who is its newly-elected president.

Describing the election of his uncle Arshad Madani to the post as a ''farce'', Jamiat general secretary Mehmud Madani asserted there was no change in the plan to conduct fresh elections to the president's post, held by his father who died here last month.

A general body meeting has been called for purpose on April 6, as fresh election had become imperative ''to set the things right,'' Mehmud Madani told UNI.

Arshad Madani, on the other hand, said his nephew was being ''led astray by some politically motivated elements.'' ''I will definitely attend the April 6 meeting as I cannot allow the Jamiat, which has a glorious tradition of serving the nation and the Muslim community, to be hijacked by some people with vested interest, '' he told UNI, over phone from Deoband.

Mehmud Madani said he had been compelled to call the general body meeting as it has been demanded by 300 Jamiat members of seven state units. ''Such a meeting is in conformity with the rules laid by the constitution of the organisation,'' he added.

He also declared that he would call a meeting of the working committee before April 6 to determine what was the right election procedure.

''The election procedure has not been clearly laid in the constitution,'' said the Jamiat general secretary.

Describing the whole controversy as ''unsavoury,'' Jamiat Member and Uttar Pradesh Minority Wefare and Haj Minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi accused Mehmud Madani of playing in the hands of some ''power-hungry'' political leaders, but, however, refused to identify the leaders, who were ''instigating the younger Madani''.

He said that the elelction of Maulana Arshad Madani should be taken as final and accepted by his nephew.''There was no need of calling the April 6 meeting at all,'' he said.

Mr Qureshi, who was addresing reporters here yesterday, appealed to Muslim scholars and leaders to come forward and save the organisation from the mudslinging game which threatened to sully the image of the body which has played an important role in the freedom struggle.

Refuting the allegations, Mehmud Madani said that the election did not take place at all. 'Some unrest and confusion developed at the February general body meeting, which was adjourned without concluding its business. Later, the election of Maualan Arshad was announced in a mosque, which was not as per the rules laid down in the constitution of the Jamiat.

He said he was being wrongly accused of trying to grab the president's post. '' As per the procedure laid down by the constitution, no candiadte can propose his own name. Names are proposed by members and those enjoying maximum number of proposers are declared elected. My name was proposed by one of the members, and there was nothing wrong in that,'' he said.

Arshad Madani expressed surprised over his nephew's contentions.

''Two names were proposed at the GBM, one of which was Mehmud Madani's. He later agreed to withdraw his name, paving the way for my automatic election to the post of president. So when he says that proper elections were not held, it is ridiculous. When only one candidate is left, no election is needed,''.

Mehmud Madani has been fielded by the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Choudhary Ajit Singh for the Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh.


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