The comments made by senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela at a meeting of the minority community -- that the party depends on Muslim votes for victory in the ensuing assembly elections and they should come out in large numbers to vote -- has raised eyebrows.
"We are dependent on you. The Congress already bears the accusation of being a pro-Muslim party, so the onus of making us victorious is on you. Your lower turnout will not do, you have to come out in large number this time," Vaghela said while speaking at the Congress Minority Cell's meeting in Koba town of Gandhinagar district on Sunday.
Vaghela, referring to the 1997 by-elections he fought from Radhanpur constituency, further said, "I became infamous as Shankarulla Khan in Radhanpur because of you".
The comments of Vagehla, who had his roots in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh before joining the Congress, left the party embarrassed. But this has given the Bharatiya Janata Party a chance to hit out at the Congress.
Party spokesperson Vijay Rupani said, "This shows that the Congress is treating Muslims as a vote bank. It is not really interested in the welfare of the community but only in seeking their votes".