The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

March 8, 2009

Advani woos Muslims, says BJP not anti-Muslim

Senior BJP leader LK Advani, who is seen as a Hindutva hardliner, on Saturday said that his party has always protected the interests of the Muslim community.

Advani said that BJP was never against Muslims. He also said that under the BJP's rule, the per capita income of Gujarati Muslims was highest in the entire country.

He was speaking at a rally in Jamshedpur. He praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and said that electricity was supplied round the clock in thousands of villages Gujarat unlike other states.

Incidentally, Gujarat is the same state that had witnessed communal carnage in which over 1,000 Muslims were killed nearly five years ago. Advani's statement is seen as an effort to project a moderate image for himself.

As Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, Advani is yet to become as acceptable as former Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Advani had rose to popularity with his 'rath yatra' during the Ayodhya movement that had ultimately led to demolition of the Babri mosque.

Though believed to be a Hindutva sympathiser, he has been trying to appear moderate. Recently, Advani had condemned the attacks of Sri Ram Sena on pub-going women in Karnataka's Mangalore.

TIH Bureau

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