“This was expected, but I don’t think the majority of Indians will vote for such a divisive man who doesn’t understand and respect diversity and pluralism. He won’t be able to lead this country,” said Asaduddin Owaisi, the outspoken MP from Hyderabad.
A section of Muslim leaders said 2014, when a general election is due, would be a watershed. “This will be referendum on whether India will accept fascism or democracy,” said Mohd Salim Engineer, the national secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
The sense is that Muslims, India’s largest minority, who get more than a fair share of wooing in elections, may impact the elections by voting as a bloc, although experts say there’s little evidence of the so-called “Muslim vote”.
“The BJP has dug its own grave,” Kamal Farooqui, an SP leader said.