Congress has done nothing for Muslims: Heptulla

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla on Thursday hit out at the Congress, saying its secular image was a farce meant to entrap the minority community.

Mumbai: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla on Thursday hit out at the Congress, saying its secular image was a farce meant to entrap the minority community.

"Congress in the last 65 years has done nothing except to push the Muslims away from the path of growth. But it calls itself secular. Even when this secular government was in power, the riots didn't stop... They kept on increasing," Heptulla alleged.

She was addressing a gathering here organised by the BJP to frame a development agenda for the minority community ahead of the coming elections in Maharashtra.

The former BJP vice president claimed that had she been with the Congress, she would have been made the President of India by now.

"I left the Congress when it had just won elections against (the NDA led by) Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I was the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha. Had I continued with Congress, I would have been made the President of India. But in the process, I would have lost my peace of mind.. So I chose to leave the party," she said.

"I was born in a Congress family. But I gave up when I realised that this is not the same Congress that fought for India's independence. The Congress today is in the business of giving big talks of development of the Muslims. But fails to deliver on the promises," she said.

Heptulla, a five-time member of the Rajya Sabha, said she was shocked when a Congress leader said that "25,000 Muslims would be killed" if a BJP-led government came to power at the Centre.

"I was shocked at those comments...The Sachar committee

report was a slap on the face of the Manmohan Singh government," she said.

"It (Congress) only knows the art of showing a lollipop of reservations to the Muslims. But the Constitution prohibits this. If it is so sympathetic towards the Muslims why did it make such a Constitution? Is it not a mockery of the Constitution?" she said.

She also alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan turned a blind eye to irregularities in the implementation of Maulana Azad national fellowship for minority students' scheme.

"I have written so many letters to the CM asking him to look into this, he never bothered to even reply."

Referring to the controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's refusal to wear a Muslim cap (when he was Gujarat Chief Minister), Heptulla said she was happy that Modi didn't wear the cap.

"The condition of Muslims is very bad today... It was good that he didn't wear a topi like other leaders do...This only means that Muslims won't be betrayed by him the way other political leaders did," Heptulla said.