Miffed UP minister planted news of Waqf Board dissolution

Miffed at not being invited to an Iftar party, UP minister of state for Waqf planted the news to steal the thunder and deny coverage to the party attended by his senior minister

Photo courtesy: Facebook
Photo courtesy: Facebook

S Khurram Raza

Lucknow witnessed a high level Iftar drama on Thursday.

UP Minister of State for Waqf, Mohsin Raza, gave a statement to PTI that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had given his approval to the dissolution of both the Shia and Sunni Waqf boards of Uttar Pradesh.

There was no reason not to believe the news as it came directly from the minister. But it is now being said that the state government is yet to take any such decision; that in fact there has been no dissolution and that the minister was merely upset as he was not invited to an Iftar party hosted by RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) headed by Indresh Kumar.

MRM, instead of inviting the only Muslim Minister in the Yogi cabinet Mohsin Raza, invited the senior minister and boss of Mohsin Raza, Laxmi Narain Chaudhary. According to sources, Raza was upset by this and in retaliation he made this announcement so that news of dissolution of the boards overshadowed reports of the Iftar party.

He succeeded in his effort and news of the dissolution pushed out reports on the Iftar party.

Lucknow-based journalist Husain Afsar told NH , “Dissolution of Waqf boards is not an easy process; about three years back the then government dissolved the Shia Waqf board but it was restored by the Supreme Court. So, prior to any such action, the government will have to issue a notice to the chairman of the board and if the government is not satisfied by the reply then either it can dissolve or set up an inquiry committee to investigate the allegations”.

Afsar also believes that when the boards were first dissolved and were then restored by the Supreme court, the Government cannot dissolve the boards again during the same five-year term.

The chairman of Shia Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi, also refutes any such move. “Before any dissolution, the government has to issue a notice and till date the board has not received any,” he confirmed to NH.

On allegation of irregularities Rizvi says, “If the government thinks that the board committed any irregularity, then it should institute an inquiry and should take action as per the recommendations of the inquiry committee.”

It was reported that there are serious allegations of corruption against Shia and Sunni Waqf Boards with regard to Waqf properties. An inquiry conducted by the Central Waqf Council of India had also found many irregularities. The role of the chairman of the Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi, as well as the minister for Waqf in the previous Samajwadi Party government, Azam Khan, had come under the scanner after the inquiry by the Waqf Council of India.

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