Fight between UP Minister, Shia Waqf Board Chairman escalates

Fight between UP Minister, Shia Waqf Board Chairman escalates

Mohsin-Raja



Lucknow: The fight between Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Waqf Mohsin Raza and Chairman, Shia Central Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi has escalated, with both of them alleging each other for irregularities. While the BJP Minister seems to be determined to disband the board constituted by the previous Samajwadi Party government, Mr Rizvi is equally geared up to take on the government, saying that he was elected for five years and that he was not ready to dance to the tune of the Minister. The tussle between the two further escalated yesterday, when the Minister visited the board office, which was closed on account of Muslim festival 22nd Rajab. Even though it was not on the holiday list of the state government, the board, Mr Rizvi said, ever since its establishment nearly six decades ago, had been observing holiday on 22nd Rajab to pay tribute to Shia Imam Jafer Sadiq (AS). Noticing the board office locked, the Minister, expressing displeasure, said he would meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to recommend for dissolution of Wasim Rizvi-controlled board. However, Mr Rizvi said, ''If the Minister will come to office on a holiday, he will find it locked. The holiday for 22nd Rajab is not new. Being mainly Shia festival, the board had been observing holiday on this day since 1941.'' When asked about the dissolution of Waqf board, he said ''if the Minister has said so, he is free to dissolve the board''. It was the Minister's second visit to the board office, and both the times, he expressed displeasure over the working of employees, board members and the Chairman. The Central Waqf council has also written to the Yogi government about the dissolution of the board. The Council in its letter to the state government said that in view of prevailing irregularities, the state government was empowered under the Waqf Act 1995 to dissolve the board. The Council has, however, also recommended for the disbanding of Sunni Waqf board on the ground of gross anomalies. The Council team had toured several parts of the state earlier this month to probe into charges against the two boards. The Board's Chairman also alleged that the minister was trying to implicate him and thus, have registered a false FIR against him in Bareilly. "I will fight till the end as I have done nothing wrong," he said here in a statement.

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