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‘Messiah of poor Muslims’

Ranchi, March 19: Former Rajya Sabha deputy chairman and currently BJP’s national vice-president Najma Heptulla today urged Muslim voters in Jharkhand to identify themselves with the party, which she claimed was the only pro-poor one in the country’s entire pollscape.

Speaking to the media at the party office here, she underscored that the BJP believed in integrated growth of the society and did not approve of privileges on religious grounds. She further said that the party cared most for those living below the poverty line, which includes a chunk of the minority populace.

“Those who keep talking of the Gujarat riots are actually communal at heart. Several riots have taken place in the country since Independence. We never try to incite social tension by reminding people of those things,” Heptulla said.

Playing the defection card, she continued: “Earlier, I was with the Congress. Today, I am with the BJP as it is in the larger interest of the nation.”

She added: “It was under Atal Bihari Vajpayee that Haj flights were made available across the country. Also, then HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi had extended necessary amenities to modernise madarsa education.”

Heptulla — the grand-niece of freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad — was in the state capital to participate in a seminar on good governance and role of Muslim intellectuals. Her itinerary included various places associated with her grand-uncle’s Independence campaign.

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