Gadkari toes secular line at Deoband

At a farmers’ rally in Deoband, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday exhorted the people to rise above caste and religion while casting votes if the state has to see development.  

Deoband is home to the world's second biggest Muslim seminary Darul Uloom.
Minutes before Gadkari blamed people instead of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party for holding back Uttar Pradesh from the progress path, his hardliner colleague Vinay Katiyar could not restrain himself from dragging Deoband for being the source of sponsored terrorism.

The party vice-president recalled that the last time he had said that Administrative Reforms Commission headed by present United Progressive Alliance Minister M Veerappa Moily had noted in its report that Deoband was fountain of terrorism, he was criticised and his effigy was burnt in the state.

Katiyar, Rajya Sabha member, claimed that he wrote a letter to Darul Uloom Madrassa chief incorporating extracts from the reforms commission report.

Katiyar’s speech laced with anti-minority overtones signalled deep-rooted confusion within the BJP over embracing secularism.

About a fortnight back, veteran party leader L K Advani had suggested at the Surajkund conclave the need for “imaginative re-projection” of the BJP’s “commitment to secularism”. The Hindutva icon had said that it was necessary to assuage apprehensive National Democratic Alliance allies and expand the political base.

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