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05 October 2011

BJP sells Bihar, Gujarat model to UP Muslims

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday (October 3, 2011) brought its Muslim faces, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, to appeal to Muslims in Uttar Pradesh to vote for the party for taalim, tarakki aur tahaffuz (education, development and security) of their community, as in Bihar and Gujarat.

Speaking at the BJP’s Alpsankhyak Swabhiman Sammelan, party spokesman and Lok Sabha MP Hussain urged the Muslims to vote for the BJP.

“We got votes from the minorities in Bihar and Gujarat, and if the pitiable condition of Muslims in UP is to be changed, you should openly come out in support of the BJP,” he said at the convention here.

He said that a political party can function without taking along minorities, but a government cannot. He said the Muslims in UP had tried governments of various parties, but their condition had not improved. The Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP had got Muslim votes with the ‘threat’ of the BJP. “They never said what they did for Muslims but threatened with what the BJP would do if it came to power,” Hussain said. “But now the Muslims have come to know the reality.”

Avoiding complex issues such as Muslim reservation or announcing any specific promise to minorities, the BJP leaders focused on taalim, tarakki aur tahaffuz.

BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the BJP would form the next government in UP and sought the Muslims’s support. “...And you have to make them (BJP) feel that you took part in the formation of that government,” he said.

Criticising the BSP, Congress and SP, Naqvi said, “These sellers of secularism have started to loot the votes of minorities by putting the gun of secularism to their (minorities) heads.”

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kalraj Mishra, in his address, termed Chief Minister Mayawati’s letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a political stunt to woo Muslim voters just before the Assembly election. “What was she doing for the last four and a half years?” he asked.

In a bid to strike a chord, Mishra recited the story of an unnamed man in Faizabad who brought Muslims and Hindus together to fight the British before independence, and was a supporter of building the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He also credited the BJP with defusing communal disharmony between Shias and Sunnis in Lucknow.

(Courtesy: Indian Express)

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