Monday, Sep 22, 2014

BJP advertisement on Muslims endorsing Modi sparks row

Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: March 2, 2014 4:05 am

Retired IPS officer from Maharashtra and author SM Mushrif has sent a notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party for misquoting him as endorsing its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, in an advertisement published by the Vapi unit of the party in some newspapers.

He said he had been quoted out of context and sentences had been added to what he actually said about Modi in an article in Milli Gazette in April last year. Mushrif has demanded an apology and publication of a denial by the party failing which he has threatened legal action.

The advertisement showed two Muslims discussing that if Modi became PM there would be no communal riots in India in the future. It had  endorsements by Ahmedabad businessman Zafar Sareshwala — a staunch Modi supporter –  Shahid Siddiqui, editor of Nai Duniya who had interviewed Modi, and Mushrif, who is quoted as saying, “The most safe place for Muslims today is Gujarat. I dealt with several states. But no Chief Minister is as good, as strong and determined as Modi. Now even Muslims realise that Modi is good for them.”

On Saturday, Mushrif told The Sunday Express that his article last year was in response to comments by an NCP leader. In his letter to the BJP national president, a copy of which has been sent to  the Press Council of India (PCI), Mushrif has said that the first sentence was only a part of a sentence from his article.

Mushrif, who took voluntary retirement, authored the bestselling book  ‘Who Killed Karkare?’ He said the BJP had not reverted to him on the notice.

Gujarat BJP Minority Cell president Sufi Mahboob Ali Chisty, said, “I am not aware about the advertisement and neither has the  BJP minority cell issued such an advertisement.”

When contacted Sareshwala said, “I am shocked that my photo has appeared in an advertisement. Nobody had taken my permission to put my photograph with a quote. I will look into it.”

Vapi MLA and Vapi BJP president Kanu Desai said, “I don’t know what is published in the advertisement.”

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