In indirect praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind's general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani Saturday said more riots have occurred in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh than in Gujarat. The number of Muslim youths in the jails of Maharashtra and Rajasthan exceed those in Gujarat, he added.
"In the past 10 years (since the 2002 Gujarat riots), more than 48 communal clashes have occurred in Rajasthan while 102 have been reported in the past one-and-a-half years in Uttar Pradesh. Please tell me, who is right and who is wrong?," Madani, indirectly lauding Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, told Rajat Sharma on his show "Aap Ki Adalat" on India TV.
"I don't say any such thing in private or in public to show that I support Modi. But if I compare Gujarat with Maharashtra and Rajasthan, then people will say I support Modi," he said.
"More Muslim youths are in the jails of Maharashtra and Rajasthan than in Gujarat," he said.
Noting that "there are two lines of thinking in India - one inclusive, the other divisive", Madani said: "We expect from the Congress to promote inclusive thinking, but unfortunately, some of their leaders have created such a situation that they appear to be divisive."
Asked about Congress party's charge that he is supporting Modi, Madani said the party should introspect.
"Those who are raising such questions should themselves introspect, then they won't have the courage to question me. Since 2002, I was the one who opposed Modi the most," he said.
He alleged most Congress leaders in Gujarat "are on the payrolls" of Modi.
"Most Congress leaders there (in Gujarat) do not work for Congress but for Modi. There were many Congressmen involved in the Gujarat riots. My father gave a list of 17-18 such people to Sonia Gandhi," he said.
The 2014 Lok Sabha polls is not Rahul Gandhi versus Modi, he said. "This is not a contest between individuals. Modi speaks good, but this should show in his actions too," he added.