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Zameer Ahmed never asked me to make him minister, I did it for betterment of Muslims: Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru, February 26: “In the last Assembly elections, the Muslims have blessed me and my party more than it used to earlier. But due to propaganda of fundamentalists and vested interests, we have lost the power”, said former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Addressing the farewell party for 300 volunteers who are going to Umra pilgrimage, sponsored by Minority Welfare Minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan at Hajj Bhavan at Thirumenahalli in the city on Tuesday, he said that those who are going to Umra pilgrimage should pray for the country, state and the entire mankind.

“Man could win everything through love and nothing could be achieved through enmity” Siddaramaiah said.

“While forming the coalition government, Zameer Ahmed Khan did not ask me to make him minister. But I have appointed him as the minister just to ensure protection and help to Muslim community and the poor”, Siddaramaiah said.

Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan said that out of 1500 persons who have been working as the volunteers in the last 22 years in Hajj camps, more than 900 volunteers did not go to Umra and Hajj pilgrimage. Now, he has been identifying such persons and sending them to Umra pilgrimage. During 2018, 250 volunteers were sent and this year, 300 volunteers were being sent for the pilgrimage. Next year, another 380 volunteers would go to Umra. Out of 300 volunteers, 120 persons had take up the pilgrimage on February 14. But there was no program on that day due to terror attack on CRPF personnel at Pulwama, he said.

“Muhammad Saleem and Rizwan Ahmed have taken up 9000 km-long bicycle ride to go to Hajj pilgrimage and their journey would take almost six months and cost Rs 3.80 lakh. They should have gone via Pakistan to reach Mecca. Due to Pulwama attack, they have boycotted that route. Instead, they have chosen to go to Mumbai first and then, they would travel till Iran by flight and from Iran, they would take up their bicycle ride till Mecca”, he said and handed over Rs 5 lakh to them personally.

“Power is not permanent to anyone. Siddaramaiah trusted me and made me minister. I will make sure I don’t disappoint him with anything nor will I disappoint my community”, he said.

Moulana Lutpulla Mazhar Rashadi, city market Jamia masjid Khathib Moulana Maqsood Imran, Moulana Muhammad Muzammil Valajahi, rural development and panchayat raj minister Krishna Bhyre Gowda and others were present.

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