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Togadia speech upsets Naqvi

New Delhi, Sept. 28: A day after he earned the wrath of Muslim members of the BJP over Praveen Togadia’s minority bashing, general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today distanced himself from the VHP leader’s remarks, reports our special correspondent.

Naqvi, also party spokesperson, received a delegation of BJP Muslim leaders today and said he was “sad” over Togadia’s “unnecessary” Muslim bashing.

Naqvi faced the minority members’ anger as he had invited Togadia to the party’s minority cell meeting here yesterday. The VHP leader had said: “I don’t like Muslims, I cannot like anyone who disputes my belief in the Ramjanmabhoomi.”

Naqvi also dubbed Togadia’s criticism of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee “unacceptable”.

The BJP’s Muslim leaders gathered at his home not only to express their shock at their guest’s unwarranted attack but also to register their protest with the party.

They felt the purpose of the meeting — to kickstart another round of talks between Muslims and Hindus on the Ayodhya tangle — could have been served better without Togadia’s “provocative” speech.

Naqvi said: “Such provocative statements from either side are not going to serve any useful purpose in creating an atmosphere of trust and friendship between the two communities.”

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