New Delhi: Reaching out to Muslims ahead of Lok Sabha elections, BJP President Rajnath Singh asked the community to give it a chance and not go by the “propaganda” spread by Congress while promising to stand for equality and apologize for any “mistake” or “shortcoming” in the past.
“Please note that whenever, wherever if there has been any mistake and shortcoming on our part, I assure you that we will apologize to you by bowing our heads,” said BJP chief Rajnath Singh while addressing a gathering of Muslims here .
Singh said BJP was not against Muslims and the community should not go by the propaganda against it. He asked them to vote for BJP this time for the sake of the nation.
“Try us once. We don’t come up to your expectations, don’t look at us ever again,” he said at the event “Modi for PM — Mission 272+ — role of Muslims” here.
The BJP chief asked the Muslim community not to vote for electing a government but for a strong nation where brotherhood and humanity shall prevail.
Talking about the 2002 Gujarat riots, Rajnath Singh said Congress engineered such a propaganda as if Modi had ordered the massacre of all Muslims at that time and is now not even ready to accept the clean chit given to him by the courts.
“Congress is playing vote bank politics to defame Modi and BJP … Try and understand this, they want Muslims to move away from BJP,” he said.
“Now, the court has also given him a clean chit, what else is left against him,” the BJP chief said.
His colleague Arun Jaitley also sought to woo the Muslims, saying BJP does not treat minorities as “instruments of political power” but treated them as equals.
“An organized campaign has gone on for several years to create a fear factor amongst the minorities about the BJP,” he said, adding the party has “no prejudice” against them and appealed them to shun vote bank politics.
He said Muslims should support BJP to help make India a “riot-free country where all citizens including minorities are guaranteed security and treated as co-equals with no discrimination”.
The BJP chief said the Indian Constitution does not provide for reservation on religious lines. “Anyone who is poor should be given reservation, be it Muslims, Christians … and not on religious basis. Why divide people on the basis of religion. There should be equality.”
The party plans to convene at least one thousand such conferences to woo the Muslims and allay their “misconceptions”.
For BJP, the party chief said, the country’s Constitution is its religion and Hindutva is nothing but a way of life in which the world is a family and it “loves” Muslims.
Singh said Modi has defined secularism as “India first” and called for doing politics of justice and humanity.
He questioned the Congress for trying to project itself as a “messiah” of the minority community and asked what it had done for them since Independence.
Claiming that members of the minority community have been siding with BJP, he said hundreds of Muslims have won on BJP symbol in civic bodies in Gujarat where Muslims have got the highest per capita income in the country. This, he said, has been achieved during the 10-year rule of Modi.