Let’s reach out to Muslims, says Modi

Gujarat chief minister and the BJP election campaign committee chief Narendra Modi’s poll mantra to party leaders at the crucial meet on Sunday was to meet the political aspirations of all sections of society, including Muslims, whom he feels are also looking for “political space”.

At the brainstorming session to discuss poll strategies in the run-up to the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, which was attended by campaign committee and sub-committee members, state unit chiefs and organisational secretaries, Mr Modi said: “In Gujarat, around 20-25 per cent minorities voted for the BJP (in the Assembly polls) and we need to reach out to them and other sections of the society, including dalits, tribals and poor Muslims in the rest of the country also.” Mr Modi, considered a Hindutva icon, said he told the minority community that the Congress had not done anything for them. He asked party leaders to adopt a similar approach across the country to win over the minority voters. He also said there are different segments within the Muslims, like Shias, Sunnis, Bohras etc, and they can be reach-ed out by redressing their grievances. Still blamed by ma-ny for the post-Godhra riots, Mr Modi’s “puppy” analogy while referring to the 2002 riot deaths had triggered a political slugfest.
The party also gave a call to make a success “Mission 272+” for the general polls and winning the Assembly polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Interestingly, party veteran L.K. Advani, considered Mr Modi’s strongest critic, it was learnt, praised the “success” of Mr Modi’s recent Hyderabad rally. Mr Adv-ani attacked the Congress for its “misgovernance” and said the BJP needs to utilise the fact that people are looking for a change because of the Congress’ misrule. The party top brass asked leaders and workers to strengthen the party up to the booth level and reach out to prospective voters from all segments and age groups.

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