Controversial Uttar Pradesh Minister for Haj and Minority Welfare Haji Yakoob Qureshi on Tuesday said there was nothing wrong if extradited underworld don Abu Salem contested the next year's assembly elections in the state.
When Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, who is 'responsible for the killing of hundreds of Muslims,' can become the chief minister of a state, what was wrong in Abu Salem, charged with the murder and other cases, wanting to contest elections, Qureshi told media persons in Azamgarh district of the state.
Qureshi said both former BJP President L K Advani and former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh contested elections even after being convicted in a case. "As far as Abu Salem is concerned, charges are yet to be proved against him," he said.
Lamenting that none of the successive governments in the past did anything substantial for the uplift of Muslims, he said the next government in the state will be formed only with the support of United Democratic Front, a front consisting of parties working for the all-round development of the minorities.
Incidentally, Qureshi's brother Yusuf Qureshi happens to be the president of the UDF, which was formed recently under the aegis of Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Ahmed Bukhari.
Meanwhile, reacting sharply to Qureshi's statement equating Advani and Modi with Abu Salem, State BJP President Keshrinath Tripathi has demanded immediate dismissal of the controversial minister from the government.In a statement issued in Lucknow, Tripathi said the chief minister should either sack the minister or should come forth with a plausible clarification for alleged unconstitutional statement of his minister.