Dehradun, February 18
Even after 12 years of the formation of the separate state of Uttarakhand and subsequent formation of Uttarakhand Wakf board, looking after the religious properties of Muslim community, there is no end to the controversies haunting the Wakf Board. In the recent election of the Chairman of the Uttarakhand Wakf Board, the state Congress government finds itself embroiled in another controversy.

The effort of the state Congress government to instal Rao Kale Khan from Haridwar district has led to the controversy. Rao Kale Khan, who was recently nominated as a member of the Wakf Board, was elected as the Chairman of the board in the election held on February 16, 2013. Meanwhile, four prominent members of the Wakf Board objected to the election and refrained from voting in the election.
The Congress government wanted Rao Kale Khan, a favourite of the senior Congress leaders from Haridwar, including Union Minister of Water Resources Harish Rawat, and lone Congress Muslim legislator Furquan Ahmed from Piran Kaliyar as the Chairman of the board.
Interestingly, since the board was formed during the previous BJP regime, the Congress government won over four members of the board who were nominated by the BJP government. However, the four members, Razia Beigh, a former Chairperson of Uttarakhand Bar Council, Sarvat Karim Ansari, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator from Mangalore, Mohd, Akram and Dr. Zakir boycotted the election on the ground that it was 'unfair and illegal.' There was only one nomination filed by Rao Kale Khan and he was declared elected.
Razia Beigh said that there was no notification of the election as required by statue nor any returning officer appointed for the purpose. " It seems that the state government was in tearing hurry to instal it's own person as Chairman of the board. It was unfortunate that the Congress government which swears by the welfare of the Muslim community went to such an extent to give the position of Chairman to their own man," she said.
"We will be approaching the Wakf Tribunal functioning under the District Judge against the arbitrary elections," she said.
The affairs of Uttarakhand Wakf Board had been mired in controversies since it's inception during the ND Tewari regime. The first Chairman of the board, Chaudhary Rais Ahmed, was favourite of the then Chief Minister Tewari. There were a lot of allegations against the second board Chairman, Rao Sharafat Ali, who was removed amidst allegations of corruption.

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