New Delhi: In a significant development, an influential Muslim voice has come out in support of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is being dubbed as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Jamiat-i-Ulama-Hind chief Maulana Mahmood Madani has said the “situation of the Muslims in Gujarat was bad but it was worse in some of the secular states”.
In an interview with a television channel Madani even said that though the government could create fear about Modi among Muslims, the minority community has seen through these tactics.
Mahmood Madani’s observations are very important as he is known to command major influence at the Deoband-based Darul Uloom, controlled by his uncle Maulana Arshad Madani.
The BJP welcomed the observation from someone close to the ruling elite in India’s leading Islamic seminary and sees as a precursor of things to come.
English daily DNA quoted party spokesperson, Rajiv Pratap Rudy as saying that the minorities have realised the benefits of the development politics practised by the BJP. They had been cheated by the practitioners of vote-bank politics, he said.
But the ‘change’ has been in the works for a while now. It manifested itself profoundly during the recently concluded assembly polls in Gujarat where BJP candidates won in Muslim dominated constituencies.
The assembly win was followed by the spectacular victory registered by the party in the municipal polls where even the party’s Muslim nominees did exceedingly.
The DNA report also quoted a senior BJP leader as he explained that there is large section among the Muslim youth who aspire for better things in life. They are gradually adjusting themselves to the changing reality. They realise that BJP offers a better future in the long run and that is why there is a systematic change of mind-set.
First Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 11:03