By MM Special Correspondent,
New Delhi: Beef exporter Sirajuddin Quraishi came under fire from several quarters following the exposure of ‘cleanliness drive’ at the Indian Islamic Culture Center as a report claimed that garbage was purposefully dumped there for a photo opportunity. Accusing him of ‘misusing’ the Indian Islamic Culture Center for advancing his political fortunes, a host of IICC members on Friday demanded that he should step down from the presidentship of the Center immediately. They said even Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay has made it clear that he was invited by India Islamic Culture Centre for the event and he was not aware about garbage being dumped deliberately.
The exposure caused a huge embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-publicized ‘Swachh Bharat campaign when it showed Upadhyay, former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi, Siraj Quraishi and a few others wielding the brooms for the cleaning in front of the otherwise-cleaned India Islamic Centre in the posh Lodhi Estate area on Wednesday as political rivals took pot shots at BJP over the event.
Quraishi, who has been cozying up to BJP after Modi came to power at the Center, is also facing all-round attack from members and community leaders. While condemning the incident, the Aligarh-based Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) has said the Center has become the hub of unwanted activities. It demanded that Siraj Quraishi should be removed from the president’s post for restoring the character of the Islamic Center. IICC member Jasim Mohammad said for achieving his personal goals, Siraj Quraishi has been indulging in undesirable activities that dented the image of the Islamic Center. He also alleged that Siraj Quraishi has turned the IICC into his beef export office.
Another member of IICC and former professor of Aligarh Muslim University, Farhat Ali Khan said in Quraishi’s presidentship not a single positive work has been done and following this highly deplorable incident Quraishi must tender his resignation on moral ground as BJP leader also admitted that he was not aware such thing was being done.
Mrs. Saba Khan, who is also the member of IICC, said that the way Sirajuddin Quraishi has misguided the government as well public has no parallel in the political history of India. She said that if he is really serious about Modi mission then he should visit Muslim localities of Delhi and undertake cleanliness drive without any publicity. Echoing her views, another member Ms. Nikhat Parveen said by doing such gimmick, Sirajuddin Quraishi has been trying to win some brownie points from the Modi government.
One Delhi-based member of the IICC told Muslim Mirror on condition of anonymity that Quraishi always holds a soft-corner for the BJP, he even wanted to contest parliamentary election on the BJP ticket from Delhi but did not get nod from the party leadership. He pointed that Quraishi was the first person from the community who went all along to congratulate Modi when he became prime minister of the country. “Disregarding the sentiments of the community, Quraishi even dared to invite Modi to the Islamic Center,” he added. It is said that he wanted to hold a grand reception in honour of Modi in the Center but the PM did not agree for this. Vouching this, a office-bearer of the Center on condition of not disclosing his identity told Muslim Mirror that after failing to invite him, Quriashi sent another ‘messenger’ to convince Modi for attending reception at the Islamic Center.
Now Quraishi’s publicity-stunt has been exposed who was made as one of the ambassadors of ‘Swachh Bharat mission as photographs showed on Thursday that sanitation workers brought garbage on a trolley and littered the pavement allegedly sometime before Upadhyay, Ilmi and others posed for the shutterbugs.
After facing flak from political circles over the incident, Ilmi distanced herself from the event as she tweeted that “I regret accepting that invitation that’s that! Swach Bharat is a great mission and one should not allow rotten apples to spoil a good mission”. However, no clarification came from the IICC president yet in this sordid episode.