Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today reached out to the Muslim community by attending a conclave organised by its business representatives as he called for creating a healthy society by bringing all groups together and adopting a growth model that ensures equality.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate said ensuring security, equality and prosperity of people is necessary for the country’s growth.

All political parties are seeking power and BJP is also doing so. However, the difference is his party is seeking power to empower people, Mr. Modi said.

The three-day conclave, “Ummat Business”, is being held for the first time here on the banks of Sabarmati River.

Close to 50 exhibitors have set up stalls showcasing their products at the event, organised by Muslim businessmen, whose theme is “Harmony in business - Lets grow together”.

The participants range from automobile sector to Information Technology to realty.

Mr. Modi batted for all-round development and said Gujarat’s inherent quality is its entrepreneurial society.

Irrespective of which community a person belongs to, it is important to be competitive in today’s world to show our capability, he maintained.

“A healthy society can only be built by taking all communities together. There is a need to adapt a growth model that ensures equality.”

Highlighting four facets of Gujarat’s growth story — security, equality, prosperity and activity — Mr. Modi said adherence to these principles in all government and societal initiatives had ensured a safe and secure living for the people irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or status.

Mr. Modi emphasised that Muslim women too need to be involved in the development journey.

Stating that all political parties are fighting for power, Mr. Modi said “BJP also wants power, but we want it to empower people.”

“Instead of job seekers people have to be job creators and for this we have to develop skills of our youths,” he said, adding Muslim youths have many inherent skills and they are involved in various skill-related businesses in the State.

“We need to map the areas where Muslim youths have shown immense talent. We (Government) will help them to develop the talents.”

The Chief Minister listed initiatives his government has taken to empower the minority community in Gujarat.

Mr. Modi said the kite market, an important source of livelihood for many poor Muslims, has grown from Rs. 30-35 crore a few years ago to Rs. 700-crore business now.

He said Gujarat for decades had been known as trader’s state but it is now becoming a manufacturing hub. For creating brand India, he said, the industrial units in the country must focus on creating zero-defect product.

Gujarat is one of the foremost cotton producing states and the focus must be on value addition from “farm to fibre to fabric to fashion to foreign”, he said.

Muslims who have traditionally dominated the textile manufacturing can compete with Pakistan and Bangladesh in this sector, the BJP leader said.

Inviting investment from Muslim businessmen in the State Government’s affordable housing scheme, Mr. Modi said “the more we move on the path of development, the better it would be for all”.

Invoking the slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, he said the BJP government has provided a peaceful atmosphere in Gujarat in the last ten years which has heralded all-round development.