Surat-born Vastanvi, the first mohtamim (vice-chancellor) of the Deoband seminary from outside North India, kicked up a storm last year within days of his election to the post by claiming Modi’s development agenda had benefited Muslims. After many months of uncertainty, he was axed in July 2011, despite the reported clean chit to him in the report of the a committee that looked into allegations against him.
He seems to have since undergone a change of heart and in a recent meeting in Surat described Modi as a “zalim”, asking Muslims to vote for the Congress. As it turned out, the BJP did far better than expected in seats witha high Muslim poulation and increased its vote share at the expense of the Congress in some of them.
“I stick to my stand that Modi is a zalim (oppressor). I have never praised him,” he said today.