BJP wants Muslims within its folds

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Lucknow, Mar 19 : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and president of the minority party's cell, Shahnawaz Hussain, said here today that the BJP is no longer untouchable for Muslims, and the community would have no problems under the leadership of L K Advani.

He said there would be a three-day meeting of senior leaders of the party at Hyderabad from April 3, which would plan a strategy to bring Muslims into the party fold.

When asked if the BJP would field more Muslim candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, he remained silent, but he did say, "religion will not come in the way of winnability".

"All I can say at this moment is that winnability will be the most important factor in the selection of candidates, it won't matter if he is a Muslim," Shahnawaz said.

Shahnawaz said that theBJP has the credit of giving riot-free States, barring Gujarat. But there too, about 30 per cent Muslims had voted for the BJP in the December 2007Assembly elections.

"Our endeavour will be to remove any misgivings and misconceptions in the minds of the Muslim community," he said.

ANI

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