RSS-BJP flay PM's remark on Muslims

RSS leader Ram Madhav said this was "precisely the language" used by Mohammad Ali Jinnah before partition, reports HS Bartwal.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 20:53 IST
HS Bartwal

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday incurred the wrath of RSS and BJP by stating at the National Development Council (NDC) that plans for Muslims and other minorities must be accorded priority in sanctioning resources.

RSS leader Ram Madhav said this was "precisely the language" used by Mohammad Ali Jinnah before partition. "It is unfortunate that our leaders have not learnt lessons from the tragic partition.They are pursuing the same politics of religion for electoral benefits," he observed.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh felt it was 'very unfortunate and appalling' for a Prime Minister to make such a statement.

"India's resources are not to be divided on religious lines. Every Indian, irrespective of his or her religious background, has equal claim on the country's resources," he asserted.

BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha VK Malhotra held that by saying such a thing the PM had given an impression that all other communities, including Hindus, were "second rate citizens". "This is nothing but a mad race for Muslims votes ahead of UP polls," he said.

Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states, who participated in the NDC, too criticised the PM for his remark. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi said the remark was "unfortunate" as every citizen, irrrespective of his caste or creed should have an equal right over the resources of the country.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh reacted similarly with the former calling the PM's view "dangerous" and the latter stressing that economic backwardness should be the sole criteria for determining such things.

First Published: Dec 09, 2006 20:53 IST