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Mulayam to oppose Centre's move to acquire Waqf property

Special Correspondent

Samajwadi Party to launch agitation if the proposal is not withdrawn



Warning: Mulayam Singh

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party will oppose the Union Government's proposed move to acquire Waqf property, including land, in the country. Outlining his party's stand on the issue, party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh said on Saturday that Waqf land belonged to the Muslims and any move to acquire it would be met with stiff resistance.

Mr. Singh threatened to launch an agitation with the support of Muslim organisations if the proposal is not withdrawn.

Mr. Singh said the Centre was finalising a proposal wherein Waqf land spread over the country would be acquired through a development agency. According to the SP chief, the Centre's proposal contained a controversial clause under which only 24 per cent of the land and property would be left for the Muslims with the remaining 76 per cent going to others.

“Though it has not been explained….who the ‘others' are, it is clear that they are non-Muslims,” Mr. Singh told reporters here.

He sais that Waqf properties belonged to the Muslims and if they are feeling cheated then their anger is justified. It is not clear among whom the income from the Waqf property would be distributed, he said.

Mr. Singh suggested that an independent agency be given the responsibility of developing the Waqf properties. “The proposal, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet after the Budget session of the Lok Sabha, should be withdrawn and the Muslims should be made to feel secure,” he said.

Mr. Singh said several Muslim delegations had met him in New Delhi and expressed concern at the proposed move.

He said during Samajwadi Party rule in the State a decision had been taken to raise boundary walls around Waqf land to prevent illegal occupation.

The Samajwadi chief refused to comment on the CD which reportedly mentions his name in the context of the reported conversation between senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan and former SP leader Amar Singh.

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