Shahi Imam will not appeal in support of any party

New Delhi: With the first phase of Lok Sabha elections due in three days, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Monday said that he would not appeal in support of any political party.

“The unabated hatred and growing religious mania rampant in the country have trampled over our basic values and traditions. These circumstances have caused grave concern to the civilised society…. Things have come to the point that instead of following the golden principles of one nation and unity in diversity, the venom of communalism is being spread in every matter,” said Bukhari in a press statement.

He added, “In these circumstances, the parliamentary elections of 2019 are a trial of the wisdom and farsightedness of the people. In the current situation, it is difficult to ascertain which one deserves to be supported. Therefore, after much deliberation and consultations, I have decided not to appeal in support of any of the political parties,” the statement read.

Expressing disappointment with political parties, Bukhari said that political parties always make promises but never deliver on them.

“Muslims should keep in view the fact that almost all political parties have disappointed them. There is a long list of promises, statements and announcements but the level of implementation is disappointing. The tale of injustices to Muslims is very long,” he said in the release.

Bukhari further said that the current elections are important in the nation’s political history and will decide far-reaching consequences for the survival of the nation’s common culture and civilization.

“These elections should be seen in the perspective of the Indian conscience, national honour, upholding the Constitution and the prevalence and disposal of justice. Apart from this, the personal integrity of candidates and their previous record too have to be considered before deciding whom to vote,” the release further said.

“Therefore, I expect from the Indian public, particularly Muslims that they shall decide in a way as to ensure that India’s centuries’ old cultural harmony and the supremacy of the Constitution remain preserved and secured,” it read.

Bukhari reportedly supported the Congress in the 2014 General elections.