I am committed to Hindu-Muslim amity: Advani
Senior BJP leader LK Advani reached out to the Muslims, assuring them of his commitment to the promotion of communal harmony.india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 15:24 IST
After appealing to Muslims to help in the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, senior BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday sought to further reach out to them by assuring them of his "unwavering commitment" to contribute to the promotion of amity, harmony and mutual understanding between the two communities.
On the sixth day of his 6,000 km-long 'Bharat Suraksha Yatra' in Pune, the Leader of Opposition also termed as "flawed" the demand for minority status to Jains and called for a national debate on statutory reservations for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in minority educational institutions.
Greeting Muslims on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed, Advani said, "I wish to assure them about my unwavering commitment to contribute to the promotion of amity, harmony and mutual understanding between Hindus and Muslims, as an important part of strengthening India's national integration."
Advani's statement at a press conference is widely being seen as part of his efforts to remove the dissonance between the BJP's "reality" of being "anti-Muslim and anti-minority".
He had also blamed the party for missing a golden opportunity to remove this perception in the wake of the Jinnah controversy last year, which led to his resignation as party chief.
The remarks also assume significance as his Yatra is primarily against the alleged "minority appeasement" policies of the Congress-led UPA Government.
However, at every public meeting he takes pains to emphasise that such policies were harmful both for the nation and the Muslims themselves.
On the controversial IMDT Act too, the senior BJP leader emphasised at a public meeting at Sarasbaug in Pune on Monday night that the party was not against Assamese Muslims but the illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators in the state.
Advani had commenced his 35-day long Yatra from Rajkot in Gujarat on April 6 with an appeal to the Muslims to abandon their claim over the disputed site in Ayodhya and help in the construction of a grand Ram temple there.
His remarks had drawn immediate criticism from VHP firebrand leader Praveen Togadia who said the solution to the vexed issue lay in a legislation and not any negotiated settlement as suggested by the BJP leader.
First Published: Apr 11, 2006 14:35 IST