The protesters gathered at Lal Darwaja here and burnt Akbar's effigy. They also raised slogans against Akbar, who was a Congress MP from Kishanganj in Bihar between 1989 and 1991. He was Congress party spokesperson in 1989.

“After joining BJP, Akbar said that the whole Muslim community is now with Narendra Modi. This is totally wrong. We have gathered today to oppose this statement," said Congress MLA from Dariyapur, Gyasuddin Shaikh.

Shaikh was accompanied by several local Muslim leaders, including Leader of Opposition in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Badruddin Shaikh, Gomtipur councillor Iqbal Shaikh, former councillor Imran Khedawala, city Congress general secretary Nasruddin Chisti and secretary Junaid Shaikh.

"Akbar and few other Muslims in BJP do not represent the entire Muslim community. Apart from Shahnawaz Hussain, the BJP has not given ticket to any other Muslim. Thus, we strongly condemn Akbar's malicious act of dragging the entire Muslim community for his own benefit," Shaikh said.

Akbar joined the BJP in the national capital on Saturday in the presence of party president Rajnath Singh.

After joining the BJP, Akbar said that he has come back in politics for its policies and work to bring the nation back into a ‘recovery mission’.

"I have come back to politics because of policy. The crisis in front of the country is known to all. This is an opportunity to do whatever little we can do for our country,” Akbar said.

"It is our duty to join hands with the voice of the nation and bring the country back to a recovery mission. I look forward to working in BJP," he added.

BJP president Rajnath Singh, who welcomed the senior journalist in his party, said people working in different areas like sports, politics, films and literature have now joined the saffron party.

Backing Modi, Akbar said that no other leader has gone through so much scrutiny as Modi.

"It is not only that there is crisis. But now I also see a solution to the crisis. Narendra Modi's leadership is essential for the country. In ten years, no other politicians have gone through so much scrutiny as Modi has gone through. He was scrutinized by police, central government, CBI, court-appointed institution," he said.

"And those who rake-up this issue all the time, I want to tell them to read the Justice Krishna report. How many people are there in Gujarat who are in jail through the legal system? More than 100. Can one tell me the numbers as far as the 1984 and 1993 riots are concerned," he said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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