Muslims are citizens of India like anyone else: BJP

Stung by PM Manmohan Singh's attack on its senior leader L K Advani,the BJP accused him of indulging in ‘communal politics’ by reminding people about Babri Masjid demolition ahead of the elections.

Written by Agencies | Published: March 26, 2009 5:32 pm

Stung by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s attack on its senior leader L K Advani,the BJP on Thursday accused him of indulging in ‘communal politics’ by reminding people about Babri Masjid demolition ahead of the elections.

BJP president Rajnath Singh said reference to the demolition amounted to ‘instigating’ a particular community on the eve of polls.

“We were surprised. It was not expected from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to say all this,” the BJP chief said in an interview. He was commenting on the attack on Advani by the Prime Minister who had said that the BJP leader had played a ‘prominent role in Babri Masjid destruction’.

“To remind people about Babri Masjid is vote-bank politics,communal politics. It is to instigate the sentiments of a particular community,” the BJP chief said.

He insisted that the BJP disfavours ‘polarisation on communal lines’ as it believes in the politics of ‘justice for all and appeasement of none’.

The BJP also believes in taking along people of all religions instead of appeasing any particular section or community,he said.

“BJP stands for creating a sense of confidence and not sense of fear,” Rajnath Singh said,alleging that the Congress was trying to create fear by projecting BJP as anti-Muslim.

Asked about BJP’s views vis-a-vis Muslims,the BJP chief said,”they are citizens of India like anyone else”.

When referred to the Prime Minister’s contention that Advani is ‘not fit’ to lead the country,he shot back: “If Advaniji is not fit,then who is?”

When his attention was drawn to the reported anti-Muslim speech of BJP candidate Varun Gandhi in his constituency Pilibhit,Singh said Varun has denied having made those remarks and everybody should accept it.

Accepting Varun’s argument that the tapes have been tampered with to malign him and the BJP,he said his party does not believe in the kind of comments that have been attributed to Varun in the CDs.

Singh insisted that his party does not believe in ‘spreading hatred’ or politics of religion,caste or creed.

Rejecting the Election Commission’s advice to the BJP against fielding Varun in view of his reported hate speeches,Singh said it has ‘no right’ to say who should be the candidate of any party. He ruled out withdrawing Varun from the fray.

On BJP’s key ally JD-U’s demand for action against Varun,Singh said there can be ‘difference of opinion’ between partners but it would not affect the alliance.

‘No differences with Jaitley’

Denying that he had any differences with party general secretary Arun Jaitley,Rajnath Singh said it was a media creation and hype. “If there were any differences,would we have been talking? We are attending functions together,” Singh said when asked about his reported differences with Jaitley.

According to party sources,Jaitley was miffed with Singh for appointing businessman Sudhanshu Mittal as party’s co-convenor of the Northeast.

However,the BJP chief agreed that the two may have some issues to discuss but these were not differences.

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