The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 20 , 2014
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BJP trust plea for Muslims

Ranchi, May 19: Jharkhand BJP has asked Muslims not to be wary or fearful of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi, claiming the threat perception was a Congress strategy in a bid to polarise minority votes.

In an interview with The Telegraph at the party headquarters in Harmu on May 17, state BJP spokesperson Kamal Khan affirmed that Muslims would “progress under the Modi regime like all other communities of the country”.

Appealing to Muslims to place their trust in Modi, Khan, formerly chief of state BJP minority cell, said the PM-elect “is not what had been projected by the Congress and its allies” during the Lok Sabha election campaign.

“The Congress terrorised Muslims to present an anti-minority image of Modi,” Khan stressed, skirting controversial topics such as the Godhra carnage of 2002.

Khan also asked Muslims not to be used as “vote banks in future” and instead join the BJP to take part in Modi’s mass movement for development.

Referring to the Rajinder Sachar committee report on the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in the country, Khan said it was an “eye-opener”.

“The Congress never worked honestly for the development of Muslims. The Sachar committee report says poverty and illiteracy levels are still high among Muslims. These issues need attention,” he said.

Asked on how they would make inroads to gain trust, Khan said: “Minorities capable of making their own decisions can never ignore the BJP and never dislike Modi. All steps have been taken for a door-to-door approach, man-to-man and heart-to-heart talks with the BJP.”

Khan added he was personally associated with the BJP for over 25 years.

“I saw how Muslims started to change their perception of the BJP when the party formed a government at the Centre with Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the helm. Muslims don’t keep a big distance with BJP which they earlier did. They are coming closer,” he said.

On the status of Muslims in the BJP, he said: “People in our party are not judged by their skin, caste, creed or religion but by the content of their character. Here people are taught to command and not demand respect.”

The BJP had given party tickets to seven Muslims across India in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

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