New Delhi: Asserting that minds of Muslims “have been poisoned over the last 70 years”, Union Minister for Minorities Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said that the Modi government would have to do a lot more to gain their confidence. He added that the government would remind Muslims of the schemes it started for their development and the efforts it made against ‘triple talaq’ during the campaigning for the 2019 elections.
“We have to do a lot more to gain the confidence of Muslims because their minds have been poisoned over the last 70 years. But, the good thing is that the new generation, the women are evaluating the BJP on its merits and demerits. This is a very positive development,” Naqvi, who had recently hosted an Iftar party for Muslim women, told PTI. A few victims of ‘triple talaq’ had attended Naqvi’s Iftar party.
The minister also rejected claims that Kairana defeat has affected the BJP’s winning spree. “It does not mean that we will lose all the elections. Now that we know that the opposition parties will stitch an alliance to contest the Lok Sabha polls, we will prepare a strategy to counter them,” Naqvi said.
Regional heavyweights have been mulling the idea of forming a “united front” to stop the BJP’s juggernaut in 2019. The minister alleged that the Congress and other rival parties had “always used Muslims for vote bank politics” and had not done anything for their development. “The Congress and others always feel that Muslims will vote for them out of compulsion. So, they have never focused on their development and empowerment,” he claimed, adding that the BJP government had honestly worked for the welfare of the community.
The Modi government had taken various steps for “restoring the dignity” of Muslims and the BJP was not running after votes, he said. “To vote or not to vote is their democratic right,” Naqvi added.