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New Delhi, October 31, 2014 ( Agencies) A fresh controversy broke out over Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari sending invitations to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the 'dastarbandi' of his 19-year-old son Syed Shaban Bukhari taking over as Naib Imam, but announcing that he won’t invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bukhari told reporters, “Muslims of India do not recognise Narendra Modi as their leader. Hence, the invite has not been sent. He may have been elected the PM but the Muslims of India do not accept him.”  “Narendra Modi should first tender apology for the Gujarat riots”, he said, adding that the Muslims were upset with the PM for the 2002 riots in Gujarat. The BJP quickly condemned his statement, questioning Bukhari’s decision.

Besides the Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Bukhari has sent invitation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, chief ministers Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal respectively, BJP leaders Vijay Goel and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Bukhari said it was his personal prerogative to send invitations for the ‘dastarbandi’ (anointment) ceremony that will take place in Jama Masjid on November 22. About 1,000 Muslim religious scholars from all over the world are being invited. 
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