Zee Media Bureau
Jaipur: Questioning Congress` stand on secularism, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind chief has hit hard on the ruling party, saying it is raising fears about the Gujarat Chief Minister only to secure support of Muslims.
Speaking at a conference on the demand for reservation for Muslims at Jaipur`s Birla Auditorium on Sunday, Syed Mehmood Madani had said there was no need for Muslims to unnecessarily fear Modi.
"The Muslim community should not be scared. Secularism is deep-rooted in the country and communal forces can never win over the hearts of general public," Madani, a former Rajya Sabha MP, was quoted as saying.
Asking his community members not to be scared of the hardline BJP leader, Madani also warned the Congress of backlash from Muslims in the upcoming Assembly elections in five states.
"Congress should not try to get Muslim votes by creating fear about somebody. The party should look at possibilities of community welfare which they have not done so far," he said.
The Jamiat leader strongly criticised Congress, which is in power in Rajasthan, and the Samajwadi Party, which rules Uttar Pradesh, of failing to protect Muslims.
"Muslims were at the receiving end during the riots at Muzaffarnagar in UP and Gopalgarh in Rajasthan. The respective governments failed to read the communal undercurrents and act," Madani added.
However, Madani today clarified on his remarks, saying he was misquoted by the media on the issue.
"Want to tell all regional political parties that do politics to ask for votes but don`t do negative politics," Madani said, adding, "To ask for vote showing someone`s fear is a different thing, political parties should ask for vote on positive basis not negative."
When asked if endorses Narendra Modi, the Jamiat leader replied, "Why do you want me to say this right now, there is time for elections."
The reaction from the Jamiat leader comes nearly two years after Maulana Ghulam Ahmed Vastanvi was forced to quit as Darul Uloom Deoband vice-chancellor over his comments about the positive impact of Gujarat`s development`s on the state`s Muslims.
Vastanvi`s remarks were largely seen as praise for Modi, who is widely believed to have played a role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Godhra.
Madani and supporters were believed to have orchestrated the campaign against Vastanvi, the first Gujarati to be nominated for the post, as they feared his elevation could weaken the family`s traditional hold over the influential western Uttar Pradesh seminary.
Madani also came down heavily on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and said his regime has been unfriendly to Muslims as five years of his tenure witnessed several incidents of atrocities in places like Gopalgarh, Surval (Sawai Madhopur) and Tonk.
During his speech, Madani also raised the issue of Ajmer Dargah blast and criticized investigative agencies for slow pace of probe.