|HOME | ELECTION | REPORT|
|September 24, 1999||
Muslim body comes out in support of NDA
For the first time, a prominent Muslim organisation -- the Islamic Council of India -- has openly come out in support of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, lambasting the Congress and other ''secular'' parties for ''using Muslims as their vote bank''.
Appealing to Muslims to ''vote overwhelmingly'' for the NDA in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, council chairman Qari Mohammed Mian Mazhari described the NDA leader and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the ''champion of communal harmony and secularism''.
''Although Vajpayee's regime has been very short one, there has been total peace and harmony in the country," noted Qari Mazhari, who was instrumental in arranging a meeting of prominent religious leaders of various dargahs with the prime minister some time back to express solidarity with the policies of his government.
At a press conference in New Delhi, he said the Congress during its four decades of rule at the Centre had done nothing concrete for the welfare of the minorities. ''It (Congress) always exploited us for its political benefits. No special effort was made for the economic and social upliftment of the community.''
Earlier, Bharti Majlis leader Javed Habeeb had also extended support to Vajpayee's candidature from the prestigious Lucknow seat. He, however, refrained from supporting the NDA. Habeeb has also expressed support to Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia and several other opposition leaders.
Defending his decision to support the NDA, Qari Mazhari said despite lending stability to their earlier governments at the Centre, the Muslims have had to face the wrath of communal forces during those regimes. ''Even the Babri Masjid was demolished at a time when the Congress was in power at the Centre. The minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University was virtually changed in the Congress regime,'' he claimed.
Qari Mazhari, who today left for Lucknow to start convassing for the prime minister, said Vajpayee is the only leader who is widely respected by the Muslims. ''The NDA has not included controversial issues like Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and the Ram Mandir in its manifesto. This indicates the alliance's respect for Muslim sentiments. The NDA manifesto is based on secularism. This is another achievement of the prime minister's able leadership and his concern to ensure peace and tranquillity in the country.''
He lauded Vajpayee for providing able leadership during the Kargil conflict. ''It is for the first time that the minorities felt safe and not being terrorised or harassed. No one doubted the patriotism of Muslims. The Muslims volunteered to go to the warfront to fight Pakistan-backed intruders in the Kargil sector,'' he said, adding that in the past three wars with Pakistan, Indian Muslims had been subject to victimisation.
Qari Mazhari, who is also editor of the monthly Urdu magazine Qayadat, urged the minorities ''not to get trapped in the well-knit conspiracy of the so-called secularists, who are bent upon dividing Muslims on communal lines.''
''The Muslims should give a chance to the NDA to rule so that a tension-free society is built in the country,'' he added.
ELECTION 99 |
SINGLES | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK