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Don't evoke fear to woo Muslim voters: Cleric

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Oct 15, 2013 13:50 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) In a veiled reference to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind leader Mehmood Madani Tuesday asked the secular parties not to seek votes of the Muslim community by evoking fear of any person.

Speaking to Times Now news channel, Madani said the secular parties should not seek votes on a negative plank.

"In the next election, they should not try to seek our votes by showing fear of someone, on a negative plank," he said.

"We say that there should not be politics to get votes by creating fear. If it takes place, we are not going to get scared," he said.

Madani demanded the secular parties should tell what they have done for the minority community and what were their plans for the future. "For (getting justice), for equal opportunity, what is their planning," he said.

Without naming any party, he said the secular parties should tell how many promises in their manifesto have been fulfilled.

Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind is an over 90-year-old organisation which works on a range of issues including social, educational and religious reform among Muslims and protection of Islamic beliefs, identity, heritage and places of worship.

Madani's apparent reference was to Modi who is the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has been targeted by the Congress and some other parties for the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari, however, termed communal vs secular forces the main polarisation in the country's politics.

"The fundamental thing is that the main polarisation in Indian politics is communal versus secular. In 2014, polarisation will come to the fore due to narrow politics of orgainsations such as VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and BJP," he said.

"The secular and progressive forces will have to decide on which side of polarisation they want to be," he said.

The BJP, in turn, termed the Congress the most communal party in the country.

"If there is any party which has been communal in last 50 years, it is Congress. They have been dividing people for votes," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Modi has been described as a "divisive" figure by several Congress leaders and there have been suggestions from various quarters that minorities will vote for non-BJP candidates due to his projection as the prime ministerial candidate.



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