April 22, 2017 5:22:36 am
SAYING that he “clearly” acknowledged that Muslims don’t vote for the BJP, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Friday that this didn’t mean that the Government victimised them. “We don’t get Muslim votes, I acknowledge very clearly. But have we given them proper sanctity or not?” he asked.
Prasad was replying to a question at the Mindmine Summit organised by the Hero group. In an interactive session compered by Sunil Kant Munjal, Joint Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp, Prasad was asked how would the government ensure that its tent was big enough to accommodate India’s multi-cultural society.
Prasad said, “We salute the diversity of India. There are two ways of looking at it and let me be very frank today. There has been a campaign against us for a long time. But today we are here because of the blessings of the people of India. We are ruling 15 states on our own. We have got 13 Chief Ministers. We are ruling the country. Have we victimised any Muslim gentleman working in industry or in service? Have we dismissed them? We don’t get Muslim votes, I acknowledge very clearly. But have we given them proper sanctity or not?”
To buttress his point, the minister cited the example of Padma Shri recipient Anwar-ul-Haq, a Jalpaiguri tea garden labourer who ferries sick people on his bike to hospitals.
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“Through this example I would like everyone to know how we govern India. PM was very cagey about Padma awards. Your friends in Lutyens’ Delhi were the biggest beneficiaries of that. He decides I have to change it. There is this man named Anwar-ul-Haq. He is a majdoor in a tea garden in Jalpaiguri. His mother passed away because he could not get her medical aide. Now he has made his motorcycle an ambulance. He has saved 2000 lives.
“One day PMO rang him up and told him that the PM will speak to you. And PM said I am going to give you Padma Shree. You are really doing a great job. We never saw the religion of Anwar-ul-Haq or whether he has voted for us or not. And if there are certain uncalled for, irresponsible voices, the Prime Minister expresses a concern. The CMs express concern. Yogi (Adityanath) is a popular leader. You are seeing his instances of good governance and inclusive development.”
Prasad also took a dig at journalists and the Left and referred to JNU as their last bastion.
“We have a problem with some of our friends. Mostly, the Leftist friends and the journalists who entertain a pathological hatred against Narendra Modi. Good luck to them. The Left is left out all over the world. They are left out in Bengal, are surviving in Kerala and Tripura, but the Left has got a very good campus in Delhi, which is the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and I always say the Left also needs some consolation prize. So JNU is their consolation prize, we don’t mind that,” Prasad said.
Earlier, while talking about the government’s efforts to propel growth, Prasad said that India was going through a phase of politics of aspiration and the government was trying to increase the size of the cake. “Growth can happen without equity but equity cannot happen without growth. You need to enlarge the cake to distribute it well,” Prasad said. “People can unseat anyone…this brings about a different kind of humility among those in politics. Learn to perform or people will show you the door.”
Prasad also said that those who were having a problem with Aadhar on issues of privacy actually had a problem with Narendra Modi. “Poor people are happy with Aadhar,” he said.
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