Reach out to underprivileged Muslims, Modi tells BJP leaders

Reach out to underprivileged Muslims, Modi tells BJP leaders

Reach out to underprivileged Muslims, Modi tells BJP leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged state governments and BJP leaders to reach out to underprivileged Muslims to ensure that they benefit from the National Commission for Backward Classes which the government is empowering by giving a constitutional status.

During a discussion on a party resolution — that hailed as ‘historic’ the Centre’s move to add teeth to the backward commission — Modi intervened to suggest that contrary to perception, his government would not hesitate to empower Muslims through his pro-poor policies which paid rich political dividends in UP polls.

“Muslims are backward in many regions. The party and governments should ensure that Muslims benefit from the new-look backward commission which has been given a constitutional status,” sources quoted the PM as having said at the closed-door meeting.

The party, in its resolution adopted by the national executive, criticised the Opposition for stalling the Bill in Parliament to provide constitutional backing to the national commission for OBCs — a repeat of what Modi himself had said when he was felicitated by BJP’s backward class leaders a day before the Budget Session came to an end on April 12.

The legislation was referred to a parliamentary select committee owing to Opposition’s demand and after it was passed by the Lok Sabha in the Budget Session.

Modi, later in his BJP conclave winding-up speech, also tasked the party’s women’s wing leaders and workers to engage the victims of triple talaq in districts, but cautioned not to provoke them against their religion. “There is a need to meet these women, but do not provoke them or go against their religion,” he said.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who briefed media on Modi’s concluding remarks, confirmed that the prime minister referred to Muslim women becoming victims of triple talaq in his speech.

Modi, Gadkari said, pitched for social justice for minority women, but the engagement should be such that it is not seen as intruding into their religious beliefs.

The Centre has also taken a stand against triple talaq in Supreme Court and argued that this form of divorce does not exist in many Muslim-dominated countries.

Modi also took a jibe at the Opposition for finding loopholes in the security features of Electronic Voting Machines after the BJP got landslide mandate in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He described the Opposition as a ‘factory for manufacturing issues’ that runs a misinformation campaign after every election.

He also advised leaders not to make unnecessary statements that end up creating controversies.