Madani's remark sparks fresh row

Madani's remark sparks fresh row

Political parties reacted sharply to a remark by the President of the Jamiat-i-Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Mehmood Madani, that “secular parties” should not attempt to create fear among the Muslims of Gujarat citing the bogey of Chief Minister Narendra Modi in order to get votes. 

While the BJP took the remark as proof of the Congress’ tactics for gaining Muslim votes by scaring them, the Congress said that such a scare does not exist and it was not their creation.

The Left attacked both the Congress and the BJP and maintained that any attempt at polarizing people on communal lines is against democratic interest. Maulana Madani made his remark during his address at a conference in Jaipur for demanding reservation for Muslims and he reiterated it to the media.

"These so-called secular parties should explain what their governments in different states have done. What promises they have fulfilled and which ones still remain? They should seek votes on this basis and not on the basis of fear of somebody else," he said.

“Do not try to gain our votes in a negative way by showing the fear of a particular individual. Muslims won't be deterred by that,” he added.  He apparently was referring to Modi.

However, Madani later denied accusing the Congress of using the Modi bogey for attracting Muslim votes in the coming  lections.  He said he had been misquoted in media reports.

“It is now clear as to how the Congress has been exploiting people for votes. It has been scaring the voters to get their votes. But people have gradually realised this,” BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

The Congress asserted that fear has already been in existence and they have not created it. Congress spokesman Meem Afzal said, “We have not created any fear. It has been there for long. It has a history of its own.” Afzal, however, felt that Madani should have tempered his remarks.

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