BJP expecting nearly 25,000 Muslims to turn up at the rally
Making a last ditch effort to secure Muslim presence at Sunday’s “historic” rally that will be addressed by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Delhi BJP on Friday distributed leaflets outside 100 mosques in the Capital urging the community to join the rally. Meanwhile, convenor of the rally committee and former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta said he was going to “personally invite” the Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri Masjid to the rally that will be held at the Japanese Park in Rohini.
The Delhi BJP tweeted that ‘pamphlets are being distributed outside 100 mosques in Delhi for the Sept. 29 Modiji’s rally’. Atif Rasheed, president of Delhi BJP’s minority cell, said: “We distributed over 1,000 leaflets outside 100 mosques in the city including Mustafabad, Nangloi, Basai Darapur and Fatehpuri Masjid.”
Mr. Rasheed said at the back of each leaflet was a list of all the communal riots that have taken place between 1947 and 2013 that showed that the BJP was not to blame. “The message urged Muslims to take the riots as a benchmark to reject the Congress,” he said. The message further asked the Muslim community to make the decision between ‘development’ and ‘betrayal’.
The BJP is expecting nearly 25,000 Muslims to turn up at the rally. Mr. Rasheed said the party was not insisting that Muslims wear skull caps on the day of the rally. “While we got a good response from the Muslim community, we are not forcing anyone to wear skull caps when they attend Sunday’s rally,” he said.
Reacting to the distribution of pamphlets outside mosques, Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress Legislative Party spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said “The BJP is not a secular party but a communal one” and the party has “never done any work for minorities”. He said: “This is but a gimmick by the party in Delhi and the people will not be impressed by this.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Delhi BJP said that an “exclusive meeting” was held with Muslim clerics in which participants expressed their full support and took an oath to educate all about “misusing of minorities by the Congress”.