Clerics shun Rajnath's offer of apology

Rajnath Singh’s offer of an apology for all the mistakes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had committed in the past failed to cut ice with the Muslim clerics, who dubbed the move as a “political ploy” to win the sympathies of the Muslim voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“On one hand, the BJP offers to tender apology for its mistakes and on the other hand it has projected Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate...these two are opposite things as Modi was in control when Gujarat riots had taken place,” said Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad.

Instead of tendering apology, the BJP should “expel” Modi, Jawwad said. “Muslims may forgive the BJP if it expels Modi,” he said.

Rejecting the apology, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member and senior Sunni cleric Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali asked Rajnath to clarify as to what mistakes he is referring to.

“He should make it clear if he wants to apologize for the demolition of Babri Masjid or for the Gujarat riots,” Firangimahali, who had stated that Modi’s past would always haunt him, said.

Another senior cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman Waizi said that the saffron party should change its policies if it feels that it has committed mistakes in the past. “The Muslims are unable to understand why the BJP is seeking forgiveness from them... it should clarify what mistakes it had committed and it should change its policies,” Waizi added.

Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas said the BJP should spell its policy on the waqf properties and programmes it would like to formulate for the welfare of the Muslim community.

“The offer of apology will not have any effect on the Muslims (without policies and programmes for their welfare),” he added.

Clerics from the prestigious islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband had also slammed Modi for the Gujarat riots and said that he could never be forgiven by the Muslims.

On Tuesday, Rajnath Singh offered to apologize to the Muslims if the party had committed any mistakes in the past, asking the community to give his party a chance.

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