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BJP softens right-wing rhetoric, woos Muslims

November 26, 2008 01:40 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday sought to reach out to Muslim voters, saying linking terrorism with the Muslim community was improper and asked for their vote to come back to power.

Addressing a series of election meetings in the capital, party president Rajnath Singh disapproved linking Muslims with terrorism, saying, "Terror has no religion. Hence no one should link any community to such acts".

He also attacked the government for failing to bring a stringent act to prevent such attacks.

"After 9/11, even US and England [Images] came out with strong anti-terror laws. However, the UPA government is afraid of taking such a step because it fears that Muslims voters may get annoyed with it," Singh said.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani [Images], at a separate election meeting, also accused the government of 'record failure' in tackling terrorism.

He asked voters to give 'some rest' to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images], saying their government had betrayed the common man.

Addressing the election meetings, his first in the national capital, the top BJP leader said his party is ready to take over from the Congress and asked the electorate to vote for his party contending that it would be the 'vote for nationalism'.

"A wise voter always measures the government and accordingly decides whether to punish or reward. I would urge you to give up this government, which has done nothing but misgovernance," Advani said at the meeting in Budh Vihar in north Delhi [Images].

Advani added, "I would ask you all to work hard to give some rest to Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister and (Delhi Chief Minister) Sheila Dikshit. Tell them that we (BJP) are ready to take over," he said.

Seeking to portray BJP as the only nationalist party, he said, "Your vote would be for nationalism because the foremost principle which ties BJP is nationalism and love for the motherland."

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