'Secular' parties use Muslims as vote bank: Modi

'Secular' parties use Muslims as vote bank: Modi

Idealogy clash: BJP, SP spar over issues of communalism, development in Uttar Pradesh

'Secular' parties use Muslims as vote bank: Modi

Accusing the “secular” parties of using Muslims as a mere vote bank, BJP’s Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi on Sunday assured the minorities that the saffron party would protect their interests if voted to power. 

Addressing a huge rally here on Sunday, Modi also highlighted strongly his “backward” caste background in order to reach out to the voters. 

“For the Congress, BSP and Samajwadi party (SP) Muslims are nothing more than vote bank...this is their secularism....our secularism is respect to all religions,” Modi said.

“For us secularism is an article of faith...we believe in India first.......for them it is divide and rule,” the BJP leader added.

“The economic condition of the Muslims is miserable in UP....the state gets only 35 thousand applications for Haj pilgrimage as against its quot of 32 thousand whereas Gujarat gets 38 thousand applications against a quota of merely 4800....it shows that muslims in Gujarat are better off,” he claimed.

“They (the opponents of Modi) will only say that secularism is in danger if you (people) ask them about development,” Modi said.

The saffron leader wooed the backward caste voters by telling them that he too came from such a caste. “It is owing to democracy within the BJP that a tea seller and a backward community person has been projected as its prime ministerial candidate,” he said.

Modi also invoked the legacy of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose massive portrait had been on the stage, and said that he used to say that the road to Delhi goes via Lucknow only.

Accusing the Congress ministers at the Centre of being neck deep in corruption, the BJP leader had a dig at union ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal and Salman Khurshid in reference to the coal scam and the misappropriation of funds by Khurshid’s trust. 

Modi expressed Sympathy to the farmers in the state for the losses they suffered in the hailstorm on Saturday and Sunday and asked BJP workers to help them.