Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh national executive member Indresh Kumar has been instrumental in forming the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, on behalf of the saffron organisation, to connect with Muslims. In an interview to Shyamlal Yadav, the 65-year-old Kumar, who has been linked to saffron terror cases by probe agencies, claims that around 10 per cent of Muslim voters voted for BJP in the elections and 10-12 per cent did not vote for any party as they have so far been only used as a vote bank. Excerpts:
You have been working among Muslims. Has BJP got Muslim votes in this elections?
In 65 years of politics, Muslims are now at the crossroads. They are angry with Congress, and they have started hating the regional parties for whom they had been voting. They have realised they got nothing from their votes or from the bashing of RSS and BJP. Around 10-12 per cent Muslims did not vote this time. My estimate is that in each constituency, 4-5 per cent to 19-20 per cent Muslims voted for BJP. On an average, 9-10 per cent Muslims have certainly voted for BJP.
How can you say that?
Very few of their religious leaders made appeals to vote for particular parties. Appeals from the Imam of Jama Masjid or head of Darul Uloom were opposed from within. Muslims voted as per their conscience.
What were the reasons for Muslims voting for BJP?
Muslims are seeing a new hope in BJP. Also, Narendra Modi’s words like “Qaatil saabit hota hoon to mujhe maafi nahi dena, faansi pe latka dena” also touched them. Musalmanon ko laga ki yeh mardaangi waali baat hai. No leader of any other party had guts to say such words.
For the first time, there is a BJP government with its own majority. There are several welfare schemes for Muslims. Do you think there is need to review them?
When you ask only about Muslims among the minorities, it is the most communal question. Why do you not talk about Christians, Sikhs, Jains and other minority communities. There is cheating in the name of Muslims. They have so far been cheated. When others were given lesser facilities, why did they progress while Muslims remained backward? They must ponder over it. There must not be any scheme in the name of ‘hate’ or ‘appeasement’. There are several schemes which are just on paper to buy votes.
Should the new government review all those schemes?
There must be a demand from Muslims themselves that politics of appeasement must end now. There are no welfare schemes in the name of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Rani Jhansi, Rahim, Bahadurshah Zafar and Shivaji among others. This biased approach towards our heroes must end. I am sure that Muslims themselves will consider these things. There are good signals from the Muslim community itself. Article 370 is among the reasons for violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year we took signatures of lakhs of Muslims of the Valley and handed them over to the President. Then you may remember there continued…