'Dress code' clouds Modi rally in Jaipur

'Dress code' clouds Modi rally in Jaipur

'Dress code' clouds Modi rally in Jaipur

Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi’s Jaipur rally, coinciding with the conclusion of Suraj Sankalp Yatra on Tuesday, courted controversy after the BJP Minority Morcha allegedly asked Muslims to come in skull caps and burqas.

With critics questioning the motive behind the “dress code,” the BJP said the direction by its minority cell was “misunderstood.” The party junked speculations that distinction was being made on the basis of religion.

BJP Minority Morcha president Ameen Pathan had asked the Muslims to wear traditional dresses. The BJP claimed that organisers were instructed to allow all women in burqas inside the venue. It alleged that women in burqas were prevented from participating in a rally, citing security reasons.

“People were allowed to attend the rally in their traditional dresses, irrespective of women in burqa and jeans or men in topi, safa or pagri as headgear,” party spokesperson Jyoti Kiran said here. Another spokesperson Vimal Katiyar said: “The BJP Minority Morcha state president Ameen Pathan had directed in a meeting on the eve of the rally that women wearing burqa should not be stopped from entering the women’s blocks at the rally venue. “Same instructions were issued for men wearing any headgear, topi, pagri, scarf. The entire subject was misunderstood and misinterpreted by the media.” Scores of burqa-clad women attended the rally. Modi has been accusing the Congress of following a “policy of appeasement” for the Muslims. He even ridiculed the party, saying that it wore a “burqa of secularism.”

Kiran said: “No separate sitting blocks were set up for any community.” Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh addressed the final rally of the Suraj Sankalp Yatra.
“No distinction was made on the basis of caste and creed. The BJP does not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste or creed,” Kiran said.

Katiyar alleged that in a public rally by the Congress, Muslim women in burqas were not allowed. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh questioned whether the BJP was trying to enforce a “dress code” or “play vote bank politics” by asking the Muslims to attend meetings in burqas and skull caps.“Whether it is a dress code or vote bank politics is a question which the media should ask the BJP,” Singh tweeted.

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