"This is a very positive statement, as he has been saying this earlier also. This has been his thought earlier too when he has appreciated the patriotic spirit in Indian muslims. This will further strengthen the country," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said. His party colleague and spokesperson M J Akbar said, "Today's statement is a very powerful affirmation by the Prime Minister of his faith - intellectual as well as his emotional. He is a man of deep conviction. His nationalism is all embracing. This is a very important message given out by him from his heart. It will have a very positive impact on society."
He said Modi has been a genuine discipline of Swami Vivekananda and by his words he has acted as a "binder" in society and will help erase unnecessary and irrelevant controversies shrouding him. "This is a befitting reply to our political opponents, who have been attempting to tarnish his image all along. Modi has come out with his mind, as he has in the past by saying so," Hussain said.
He said the Prime Minister has only voiced the party's opinion towards the minority community as he is now the "tallest leader in the party". "Modi's statements are fine. Indian Muslims have always lived and would die for the nation," he said. The BJP leaders, however, did not reply when asked if Modi's words would not prove counter-productive to his image of being a staunch Hindu nationalist and would not be viewed as an attempt to "appease" the minority community.
Modi in an interview to CNN said that the patriotism of Indian Muslims could not be questioned and said that they will live and die for India and not dance to the tunes of terror outfit Al Qaeda.
"Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India - they will not want anything bad for India," he told CNN in a rare media interview. He was asked about the head of Al Qaeda issuing a video and an appeal trying to create an Al Qaeda in India- South Asia saying he wants to free Muslims from the "oppression" they face in Kashmir and Gujarat. Modi's statement about Indian muslims comes ahead of his visit to the United States where he will address the UN General Assembly.