Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured a delegation of Muslim leaders on Tuesday that he would be available to address their issues even “at 12 in the night”.
“Interacting with the leaders, the PM said he neither believes in politics which seeks to divide people on communal lines, nor will he ever speak communal language. He said the politics of majority and minority had caused a lot of damage to the country,” the PMO said in a statement after Modi’s meeting with the delegation of 30 Muslim leaders led by Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ilyasi said: “We told the PM that while he speaks mann ki baat, we have come to tell him our dil ki baat, our concerns about how, when he was talking Make in India in Germany, some people here were talking to destroy India. He told me, ‘I give you my word, if you knock on my door at 12 in the night, I will respond’. He assured us that he is responsible for every Indian.”
The meeting lasted for about 45 minutes. “It was not like the PM sat on a chair and talked to people. He met each one personally. He talked about how he considers himself a PM of every Indian, not of Muslims, Sikhs, Christians or Parsis. He said he would not let anybody play the Hindu or the Muslim card, but would play the India card himself,” said Feroze Bakht Ahmad, a teacher and grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
“He said education is the only way to reduce communal conflagrations and he is working towards that. Every member came away with the impression that he is a strong PM who means business,” said Ahmad.
The delegation reportedly told Modi that they wanted to forge a partnership for progress and development. “They said the Muslim community had rejected the divisive politics of vote banks, and was interested in development,” said the PMO.
According to the PMO, the delegation congratulated the PM for his vision of the Muslim youth, with a Quran in one hand and a computer in the other. They also congratulated him for the success in the adoption of the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations. MoS (Minority Affairs) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present.
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