Prominent cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad today said there was some fear among Muslims as far as BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was concerned, but its national president Rajnath Singh’s image was emerging like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“There is some apprehension among Muslims vis-a-vis Modi.
They feel Rajnath Singh will prove better. They used to apprehend that if BJP comes to power, something could happen. But the ground reality is that the best relations with Pakistan developed when Vajpayee was the External Affairs Minister,” he said.
Jawwad, however, said his meeting with Rajnath, who is contesting from Lucknow, last night was not political, but personal.
“I don’t consider this meeting as political, but personal. We had been meeting earlier as well. When he was the Chief Minister, he used to meet us. He used to come and greet us when Namaz of Eid was held. From this point of view we have old relations…this meeting was not political, but personal,” he said.
On being asked about the manner in which he had given a statement against Congress and whether he would give a statement in support of BJP, Jawwad said, “We don’t intend to issue any statement in the favour of any party. Whatever Rajnath has told us, we will keep it before our community.”
“There is no compulsion from our side…It’s up to them (Muslim community) as to whom they wanted to vote,” he said.
Asked whether he would issue any ‘fatwa’ (diktat) in favour of BJP, he said, “Fatwa is never political, it is always related to Shariyat.”
On Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Jawwad said, “The basic difference is that Bukhari went to meet Sonia, whereas Rajnath came to us on his own.”
To a question whether Rajnath would get the same support as Vajpayee got in Lucknow, Jawwad said, “Rajnath’s image is growing fast. In fact, he is reaching the same level (as that of Vajpayee).”