BJP does not treat minorities as instrument of political power: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that his party treated Muslims as equals and not as instruments of political power.

Updated: Feb 25, 2014, 20:30 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that his party treated Muslims as equals and not as instruments of political power.

Writing on his official site Jaitley said, “An organized campaign has gone on for several years to create a fear factor amongst the minorities about the BJP. The party workers amongst minority community members have faced an uphill task in the past trying to convince members of the minority community that the BJP has no prejudice against them.”

He also said, “There are some recent illustrations where the party’s stand has been highly appreciated by members of the minority community. After the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere, the BJP has more than a comfortable relationship with the members of the Sikh community.”
“In the last elections to the Goa Assembly the party had put up a large number of members of the Christian community. Most of the minority community voters of Goa voted for the BJP. The imaginary wall between the Christian community and the BJP in Goa has collapsed. Many of our ministers including the Deputy Chief Minister belong to the minority community,” he added.

Giving the example Rajasthan, Gujarat and MP the BJP leader wrote, “In the recently elections to the Rajasthan Assembly only four members of the minority community – two Sikhs and two Muslims were elected to the legislative assembly. All the four belong to the BJP. A very large number of members have been elected to the local bodies in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh from the minority community.”

Making a distinction between the BJP and other parties, Jaitley maintained that his party treated minorities as equals. “The clear distinction between the BJP and others is that we do not treat minorities as instruments of political power. We treat them as equals and address their concerns as that of any other citizen.”

Earlier today, BJP president Rajnath Singh said that his party would ask for forgiveness if it had ever committed any mistake in the past. This was apparently in reference to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
While requesting Muslims to vote for the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Rajnath warned them not to go by the propaganda against his party. “BJP is not against Muslims,” he maintained.

At the same time Rajnath slammed the Congress and other rival parties and said that only one riot was talked about and that was the Gujarat riots. “Weren`t there riots in Gujarat before that when Hitendra Desai was CM?” he asked.

He also said, “Those who accepted the country`s division, in real sense they are communal not us.”