Monday, Oct 20, 2014

Modi’s Meerut rally: BJP woos small scale firms’ Muslim owners

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Posted: February 2, 2014 12:44 am | Updated: February 6, 2014 2:30 pm

Besides making every effort to attract Jat community for Narendra Modi’s Meerut rally on Sunday, the BJP has now shifted its focus on small scale industries — owned by people from the Muslim community — in west UP.

Even the stage backdrop at the rally ground displays artisans of various industries — brass, sports goods, scissor, pottery, handloom and handicrafts — engaged in their work.

State BJP leaders are visiting manufacturing units of these industries in their respective districts, asking the workers to attend their prime ministerial candidate’s rally on Sunday.

In riot-affected Muzaffarnagar, where the furnace industry is a source of income for thousands of Muslims, party leaders claim that around 5000 such artisans will be attending the rally.

In Moradabad, the district which exports brass, party has booked two buses to carry the workers — largely Muslims — to the rally ground. Similar appeals were made in Meerut where industry of sports goods, scissors and handloom are dominated by people from the Muslim community.

Likewise, the party has booked two buses for the handicraft workers in Saharanpur to attend the rally.
“The party wants to highlight its development-oriented agenda of sabka saath-sabka vikas  in this rally and therefore local industries have been depicted on the stage,” a party leader said.

The rally ground is known as Shatabdi Nagar where RSS organises its activities. But, “in a bid to attract Scheduled Caste voters,” the party has renamed the ground after freedom fighter Shaheed Matadeen Valmiki. Madhav Kunj, the RSS’ educational institute, is located just opposite to the ground.

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