Try us once, ready to apologise for 'mistake': BJP to Muslims

New Delhi, Feb 25: In an attempt to woo Muslims, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the BJP President Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked the community to give it a chance and not go by the "propaganda" spread by Congress while promising to stand for equality and apologise for any "mistake" or shortcoming in the past.

While addressing a gathering of minorities on 'Narendra Modi's Mission 272+ : Role of Muslims' summit' at the NDMC Convention Centre in Delhi, Singh, in an apparent reference to 2002 Gujarat riots, said, "Please note that whenever, wherever if there has been any mistake and shortcoming on our part, I assure you that we will apologise to you by bowing our heads."

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."

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.

Singh also lashed out at the Congress saying, "Only one riot is talked about, that is the 2002 riots. Weren't there riots in Gujarat before that when Hitendra Desai was CM?"

"Those who accepted the country's division, in real sense they are communal not us. We don't do politics for the sake of attaining power, we do politics to build the nation", he added.

Talking about the 2002 Gujarat riots, he said Congress engineered such a propaganda as if Modi had ordered the massacre of all Muslims at that time and was now not even ready to accept the clean chit given to him by a court.

"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, adding that, "Now, the court has also given him a clean chit, what else is left against him."

The BJP chief appealed to the Muslims community to vote for BJP this time and help it form a government to provide a strong India and to ensure respect for humanity and not allow any kind of hatred.

"Unko dekha baar baar, kamse kam humko dekho ek baar (You have seen them so many times, atleast try us once)," he said.

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."

BJP leader Arun Jaitley called upon minorities to support BJP to help make India free of all communal riots and provide a regime of security, equality and economic growth to ensure its progress.

He appealed for shunning vote bank politics so that all can be treated as equals.

Attacking Congress, Singh said its policy has been of divide and rule.

The BJP Chief also accused the Congress of accepting the division of the nation on religious lines which Muslim leaders like Maulana Azad never accepted.

"Those who have accepted the division of the country on the basis of religion are communal," he said hitting out at Congress.

He also accused Congress of indulging in riots and cited Rajiv Gandhi's words that "When a big tree falls, the earth shakes" after Indira Gandhi's assassination.

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.

Asking the community not to fall prey to Congress "propaganda of falsehood" that if BJP comes to power there will be riots, Singh cited the example of party ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Goa, where there has been no communal violence.

The BJP chief appealed to the party's minority morcha cell to reach out to people from the community and tell them about the ideals of BJP.

Jaitley said people earlier used to say that it is a party which will get isolated. But now there is panic among other parties after seeing the success of Modi's rallies, as there has never been such a situation before polls where BJP has managed such a stronghold.

He said Modi has risen and the crowds are coming together with a message.

Jaitley said any Third or Fourth Front will not have more than 20-30 seats and reaching the 272 mark is impossible for these parties.

He said the party needs to "generate desire" even in minorities and claimed that there are four members in newly elected Rajasthan Assembly from minorities that include two Muslims and two Sikhs.

Rajnath Singh also launched a book- 'Moditva - the Idea behind the Man', at Chinmaya Mission Auditorium in Delhi, at 4 pm today.

Earlier this month, Rajnath Singh had said, "Congress always talks about the riots in Gujurat. Yes, an unfortunate incident did happen there. A very unfortunate incident, but it is also the credit of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that no such incident or riots has ever taken place there in the last 12 years."

Time and again, Congress has attacked Modi on the issue of Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002.

OneIndia News

(With PTI inputs)

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