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Varanasi reply to cap rebuff

Husain Baba

Rustampura (Kheda), April 21: The cleric who hit headlines nearly three years ago after Narendra Modi refused to wear the skullcap he had offered plans to campaign against the BJP mascot in Varanasi.

Imam Shahi Saiyed Mahendi Husain Baba, however, made it clear his fight was not “personal”.

“For me, the fight against Modi is not personal. It is a fight against an arrogant person who claims to be a religious person, which he is not. He is essentially a power-hungry politician who would do anything to realise his dream,” said the Sufi cleric, who lives in a small ashram in this village, 90km from Ahmedabad.

The cleric had offered the cap during Modi’s Sadbhavna fast for communal harmony in Ahmedabad in 2011, but remembers the September 18 public refusal as if it was yesterday.

Modi backer Zafar Sareshwala, an Ahmedabad-based businessman, however, dismissed any threat from the cleric.