The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday asked the Election Commission take cognizance of Syed Ahmed Bukhari's appeal to Muslims to support Congress in the polls and accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi of "communalising the whole election".
Reacting sharply to the Delhi Jama Masjid Shahi Imam's statement supporting Congress, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Congress leaders were seeking support of the people like Bukhari as they failed in all fronts.
"We condmen Imam Bukhari's statement. This government is desperate. They know they are going to lose very very heavily. Therefore, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi try to communalise the whole election. They have failed so Shahi Imam Bukhari has come to the front," Prasad said.
"The Election Commission must take note of this rant communal appeal," he said but noted that Bukhari's statement will fail to influence the people because they are more concerned about burning issues like price rise, unemployment and sense of insecurity.
Bukhari, who had a meeting with Congress President few days ago, today declared his support to Congress, saying it will "strengthen" secularism and termed communalism as "bigger threat" to the country than corruption.
Considered an influential religious leader, Bukhari appealed to Muslims to support Congress and ensure that secular votes are not divided, days after his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi sparked a row.
He also announced supporting Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and Congress ally RJD in Bihar.
Slamming Bukhari's stand, former SP leader Shahid Siddiqui said that Muslims will not listen to the Imam as they are aware of the fact that Congress was responsible for their plight.
He also said that Imam's statement will be "counter productive" as non-Muslims will give them importance.