Dalit Muslim body expels its president Ali Anwar


Patna : An influential backward and Dalit Muslim body has expelled its national president Ali Anwar, MP, charging him with neglecting its cause and doing everything to make Bharatiya Janata Party’s L.K. Advani the next prime minister.

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The All India Pasmandsa Muslim Mahaz’s executive committee has dismissed Anwar for “betrayal of the cause of empowerment of backward and Dalit Muslims”. Anwar is Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) Rajya Sabha MP and is considered close to chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has been projecting him as the face of backward and Dalit Muslims.

Mahaz’s spokesperson Irshadul Haque said Saturday Anwar was expelled for his “anti-Mahaz activities and joining hands with the communal BJP to make Advani the next PM”.

“Mahaz would elect its new national president (later) Saturday at its meeting here attended by executive committee members and delegates from all across India,” Haque said.

He said Anwar has been “misusing the power and popularity given by Mahaz. After becoming MP, he totally neglected Mahaz and its struggle for empowerment of backward and Dalit Muslims. He has maintained silence over issues harming the interest of Mahaz.”

Haque told IANS that Mahaz was stunned by Anwar’s bid to make Advani the next PM against the known stand of Mahaz. “Anwar’s stand to project and support Advani as PM angered Mahaz’s leaders, workers and supporters,” he said.

Mahaz general secretary Usman Halalkhor said: “Anwar promised us not to go with BJP and would resign from his post as an MP if forced to support Advani as PM. But he forgot all that just to enjoy lust of power-politics; he may be eying to become central minister by supporting Advani.”

Halalkhor said Mahaz is against all kind of communalism whether Muslim or Hindu. “We have been exposing both types of communal politics which goes against our interest.”

Haque said Nitish Kumar made Anwar the MP to weaken his arch rival Lalu Prasad.

“Dalit Muslims in Bihar protested the decision of the Nitish Kumar government to declare powerful upper caste Mallick Muslims as backward but Anwar hardly bothered to oppose it,” Haque said.

Anwar, a journalist-turned-politician, was one of the half a dozen backward and Dalit Muslim activists who started a movement named Pasmanda Tahreek under the banner of All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz in 1998.

Mahaz’s aim was to mobilise and sensitise extremely marginalised sections of backward and Dalit Muslims to fight for empowerment.