Hyderabad: Union Minister Najma Heptulla claims that confidence of Muslims in BJP is increasing because of its "development-for-all" agenda, as she expressed optimism that "vote-bank politics" syndrome will now be a thing of the past.
"Muslims have voted for the BJP (in recent Lok Sabha elections) and they are slowly getting their confidence in voting for the BJP because it`s for the first time in the history of India that any leader has focused on development in a national election and talked about inclusive development, both for majority and minority in the entire nation and Muslims are included in it," she said.
"He (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) talked about everybody. And when he talked about development, minorities, specifically Muslims, have voted for him. (Muslims) may not have voted 100 per cent but they have voted and slowly the growth (in voting for BJP) will increase as the confidence increases," the Minister of Minority Affairs told PTI here in an interview last evening.
Irrespective of caste, religion, region and language considerations, people have voted for Modi, the former Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha said, adding that she is "very confident" that the concept of "vote-bank politics is not going to be there" in future.
Without naming the Congress, she attacked it, saying the previous governments only paid "lip-service" to the issue of minority welfare and they have not actually cared for them. Sachar Committee and other reports on minority development and welfare have "exposed" them (the Congress that not much had been done for minorities)."
Asked if she thought Narendra Modi should visit Pakistan to improve bilateral relations, Heptulla said it`s for him to decide, but pointed out the Prime Minister has already gone a "step further" by inviting Pakistan`s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony.
"I feel that now it`s time for Pakistan to show some consideration and extend a hand of friendship towards India and stop supporting the terrorists because it`s not good for either country (India and Pakistan). No body, No body, I emphasise, should support any terrorist activities," the Minister said. "We cannot tolerate terrorism," she stressed.
"Actually, the Prime Minister has shown large heartedness by inviting all the SAARC leaders for his swearing-in ceremony. That include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Maldives...Four countries represented by Muslim leaders. So, that sends a very good message to them that he wants to be friendly with everybody...All the neighbouring countries," she said.