BJP woos Muslims ahead of LS polls

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Lucknow, Mar 18: Maintaining that now BJP is not untouchable for Muslims, senior BJP leader and Central Election Committee member Shahnawaz Hussain today said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was planning to woo Muslims in a big way for their support for its Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani in the next Lok Sabha polls.

Talking to the sources here, Mr Hussain, the BJP's minority cell president and lone Muslim Lok Sabha member, said the party was contemplating giving more tickets to Muslim candidates in the Lok Sabha elections, besides nominating candidates in the minority dominated areas of Kashmir and other parts of the country.The BJP would hold a three-day conference of the minorities at Hyderabad from April 4.

Mr Hussain said, ''We have planned in a big way to woo Muslims to be part of the Lok Sabha election campaign for our landslide victory.'' He said the BJP is now not untouchable for Muslims, as it proved during the recent Gujarat Assembly polls, where 30 per cent Muslim votes went in favour of the party.

''The minority cell meeting at Hyderabad next month will chalk out strategy for attracting the Muslim vote bank and even discuss the candidature of more Muslim candidates by the party in the LS polls,'' he informed.

Mr Hussain, BJP LS member from Bihar's Bhagalpur constituency, also said a meeting of the party's minority cell would be held at Srinagar very soon, so that the party could build up major strength before the Assembly polls there.

''BJP plans to give major tickets to Muslims in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election on the ideology of Insaniyat aur Iman with an aim to dismantle the wall of hatred in society,'' he underlined.

Denouncing the Sachar Committee report, the former union civil aviation minister claimed it was only an effort by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to 'befool' the minorities through hollow promises.

''We can certainly say the Muslims of Narendra Modi in Gujarat are better off than those of Mayawati in UP, of Congress in Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh and of the Left in West Bengal,'' he said, adding all the BJP-ruled states were riot-free in the last couple of years.

UNI

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