In a surprising turn of events, the Minority Welfare Department has reversed its recent order to cancel four appointments made by the previous BJP-led government in the Wakf board. The decision to withdraw the cancellation has raised eyebrows as it contradicts one of the initial moves by the newly formed Congress government. Reports suggest that the pressure exerted by certain Wakf board members played a significant role in persuading the government to reconsider its stance.
The chairperson of the Wakf Board, Mohammed Shafi Saadi, who was appointed to the position in 2020 with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), found himself at the centrea of this controversy. However, it is essential to note that the decision to retain the appointed members was not solely driven by party affiliations, but rather a result of the demands put forward by the Wakf board members themselves.
Following the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly Elections in 2023, the Wakf board publicly expressed their desire to have a Muslim Deputy Chief Minister in the state. They argued that the Muslim community had played a crucial role in the Congress party’s success by securing victories in 72 constituencies. As a consequence, they expected recognition for their support and advocated for the appointment of a Muslim Deputy Chief Minister and five ministers with significant portfolios such as Home, Revenue, and Education.
Zameer Ahmed Khan, a prominent Muslim candidate, emerged as a frontrunner for the Deputy Chief Minister position. It is reported that Khan exerted pressure on the government to reverse its decision on cancelling the appointments of the Wakf board members, given his potential stake in the Deputy Chief Ministership.
The Congress party, through its leader Pawan Khera, criticised the Wakf Board chief, Mohammed Shafi Saadi, alleging that he had close ties with the BJP. Khera’s statement suggested that Saadi’s stance was politically motivated rather than genuinely advocating for the interests of the Muslim community.