After U-turn on Modi, Vastanvi looks to UP for his business

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Gujarat's Muslim cleric Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi wants to set up educational institutes for the educationally backward Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

Vastanvi was in the news when he was removed from the post of vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, the second largest Islamic seminary in the world, for his alleged remarks favouring Chief Minister Narendra Modi, which he later disowned in January 2011.

Vastanvi was removed by the Majlis-e-Shura of Deoband seminary amidst demonstrations both in his support and against him by different groups.

Most recently, he hit the headlines by calling Modi a "tyrant".

Vastanvi is considered a cleric with a progressive outlook and emphasis on modern education. Several educational institutes are run by him in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Vastnavi's efforts in the field of education has been acclaimed by the Maharashtra government. His institutes include engineering colleges, pharmacy institutes and others imparting modern education.

Confirming the news, Vastanvi said: "UP is surely on my agenda. I will hopefully launch some institutions in the state. It is too early to set a timeframe but it will be my next project."

He also stated that his efforts would be confined only to educational uplift of the community. "My work is related to establishing educational institutes. I think it is better to spread education among the community," Vastanvi said.

"My projects and institutions are there for everyone to see. I invite anyone to come and have a look at them in Gujarat," Vastanvi said.

Vastanvi did not see any harm in taking help from the government or meeting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. "If it is for a good cause, I will surely interact with them. But everything is premature at this moment. But I will be soon coming to UP," Vastanvi said.

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