Sonia Gandhi not to attend Syed Ahmed Bukhari son's anointment ceremony

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 1 2014, 14:27pm hrs
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will not attend the controversial anointment ceremony of the son of Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari here next month.

Asked if Gandhi had received the Imam's invite, Congress sources said they were not aware if any such invitation had come.

Prodded further about her possible attendance, a source only said, "the question does not arise".

The decision not to attend comes at a time when a controversy has erupted following the Imam's decision not to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as he extended an invitation to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif.

Bukhari had justified not inviting Modi claiming Muslims have not "forgiven" him for Gujarat riots and "he (Modi) does like us (Muslims) and we don't like him".

Congress MP Husain Dalwai was critical of the Shahi Imam over the ceremony, saying there is no succession act in Islam and that it was not necessary that the son of the king should succeed him.

He wondered why he should have called Pakistani Prime Minister.

"Why he did not call prime ministers of other Muslim countries" he asked.

Bukhari had said that he had invited among others Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Vijay Goel, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for his son's anointment.