Waseem Rizvi appoints Hindu seer as patron of his outfit

Controversial chairman of UP Shia Central Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi nominated on Thursday Mahant Narendra Giri, chairman of the Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad, as the patron of his fledgling political outifit Indian Shia Awami League (ISAL).

“History bears testimony that all 14 Shia rulers in the country not only protected the Hindus but also constructed several temples during their regime in various parts of the country,” said Rizvi, who went to Allahabad to seek the Mahant‘s blessings.Rizvi has been a votary of construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and had presented a draft of his compromise formula to Mahant Gir in November last year, though neither of them are party in the title suit on Ayodhya pending in the Supreme Court.

The political outfit was floated on May 14 by Rizvi in an attempt to “carve a separate political identity for the minority Shia within the Muslim community ahead of the 2019 general elections”.

“The idea is to assert Shia identity separate from Sunni Muslims and there was no clash of the former with the Hindus,” he said.

“Traditionally, the vote-bank politics has only catered to Sunnis in India, since we are in minority. But when there are riots in the country because of Sunni extremism, we also get targeted due to our Muslim identity,” said Waseem Rizvi on Monday. Rizvi, however, asserted that it would not be a sectarian party and give representation to people irrespective of caste and religion.