Kejriwal reaches out to Muslims, attacks Congress
On the first Friday of the holy month of Ramzan, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal reached out to city’s Muslims and launched an acerbic attack on the Congress for using the community as a votebank for 65 years. Nivedita Khandekar reports.delhi Updated: Jul 13, 2013 02:17 IST
On the first Friday of the holy month of Ramzan, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal reached out to city's Muslims and launched an acerbic attack on the Congress for using the community as a votebank for 65 years.
In another open letter, this time to the Muslim community, he wrote: "It (Congress) did not implement the Sachar Committee report. Congress is responsible for the backwardness of the Muslims. What has it done for the Muslim community for the past 65 years, except for having fooled them with false promises like reservations?"
He also brought up the issue of men from the community being implicated in false terror cases: "In Delhi and at the Centre, it is the Congress which is in power. So whom can they blame for implicating Muslim youth in false terror cases?" The letter has been uploaded on one of the party's blogs under the head 'Arvind Kejriwal's Letters'.
Appealing to people of all religions to come together, Kejriwal said the citizens of the country can no longer be used as a political votebank by both the BJP and the Congress. Both parties, he held, have tried to derive mileage from the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and 2002 anti-Muslim riots.
He also accused the Congress of deliberately trying to keep the community backward and said the community lives in fear. Pointing at the poor condition of Urdu-medium schools and madrassas, Kejriwal promised to implement Urdu as an optional language in all schools. He also promised to "free the Delhi Waqf Board from the clutches of the political touts".
Kejriwal reiterated that he did not enter politics "to capture power or earn money" and said that had he wished to earn money, he would have continued as an income tax commissioner. "We are here to earn people, not money. We want to bring in a change in this country," he wrote.
Asking the community to join hands with his party, Kejriwal lashed out at both the national parties.
"Congress has used Muslims for the past 65 years and done nothing for them while the BJP is communal party. So you hardly have a choice. Now, by way of AAP, the Muslims have an honest and secular option to start an era of clean politics," Kejriwal added.
First Published: Jul 12, 2013 22:43 IST