In Lucknow, where over 25% of the electorate is Muslim, BJP President Rajnath Singh has attempted to reach out to Muslim voters by meeting prominent Shia and Sunni Clerics on the campaign trail. The meetings are likely to trigger a big political debate, especially after the BJP pilloried Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her meeting with Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, in New Delhi. Among the leaders Mr Singh met were prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad who, just recently said voting for Congress would be a betrayal of Islam and Sunni cleric Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali. Speaking to NDTV in Lucknow, the BJP President argued that these meetings could not be compared to Mrs Gandhi's meeting with the Shahi Imam in Delhi for which the BJP had accused the Congress of communalising the campaign. He said he wasn't looking for a political fatwa or an appeal for votes along religious lines and would meet religious leaders of all faiths.
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