To project secular image, BJP woos Muslim women
Days after party patriarch LK Advani stressed the need to reaffirm the BJP's commitment to secularism in an attempt to reach out to new allies and assuage Muslim fears, the BJP on Friday sought to bring Muslim women from various states together.delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2012 01:41 IST
Days after party patriarch LK Advani stressed the need to reaffirm the BJP's commitment to secularism in an attempt to reach out to new allies and assuage Muslim fears, the BJP on Friday sought to bring Muslim women from various states together.
The event organised in Delhi began with a Muslim woman singing 'Vande Mataram' which had several times led to debates over whether the minorities must sing it.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and party leader Sushma Swaraj sought to project BJP-run state governments as shining examples of minority development, besides underlining that the Vajpayee government had performed the same role at the Centre.
The BJP leaders, however, said the task of garnering Muslim support was tough for them, as a "false propaganda" had been spread against the party that it was anti-Muslim.
"We believe in social harmony and do not discriminate on grounds of religion, caste, gender or language," Gadkari said. "We condemned the anti-Islam film made in the US."
He called upon Muslim women to get educated and do well in life for the community to progress.
Gadkari, however, said the BJP was anti-terror, adding a true Hindu or a true Muslim could not be terrorists.
Sushma Swaraj praised the work of MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, saying Muslim girls had also benefited from schemes like Ladli Laxmi Yojana and the CM's Kanyadan Yojana.
Both Gadkari and Swaraj praised the Gujarat government for the development of the Muslim community there.
Swaraj said the BJP did not believe in converting anyone, saying a Hindu should be a good Hindu and a Muslim a good Muslim.