Modi feels for Muslims, calls them mere "ballot papers"

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Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, Sept 5: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has dared to say the unthinkable and is always known for speaking his mind out. Speaking at a function honouring students of the Muslim community at an event organized by the Gujarat Ajmeri Charitable and Education Trust, he said that vote bank politics ensured that the Muslim community remained weak and disintegrated.

Modi has been quoted as saying, "Vote bank politics by rulers was to divide the people in India on the basis of minority and majority over the last 50 years. You have been duped and deceived, and used as mere ballot papers only during the elections. How long would you like to remain like that?" He called on the community to join the mainstream and be partners in progress.

He added, "No society could attain all round growth if one section was weaker than the other, but unfortunately the past rulers had all these years ensured a large and powerful nation like India remained disintegrated and weak."

He also spoke at the function, "Muslims in Gujarat comprise 9 per cent of the population, of which five per cent are in government jobs, which in percentage terms was higher than West Bengal, a so called secular state. Muslims comprise 25 per cent of the population in the so-called secular state like West Bengal but only two per cent of them are in government jobs."

In a veiled remark on the Prime Minister's speech in the Red Fort on Independence Day, Modi asks, "The Prime Minister in his speech from Red Fort while addressing the nation said... Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians. Can not he simply say my countrymen...?"

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