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BJP tries to woo Muslims under its 'NDA Plus' plan

Source: PTI
September 28, 2012 18:51 IST
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Keen to win more allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been identified with the Hindutva tag, on Friday decided to strive for an "imaginative reprojection" of its "commitment to secularism" and reassured minority community that it does not support discrimination on basis of religion.

L K Advani, while delivering the valedictory address at the party National Council Meet, insisted that as the anti-Congress constituency is rapidly expanding, the NDA should gain from it and transform itself into "NDA Plus".

"This involves reassuring our potential allies that they have nothing to be apprehensive about partnering with the BJP. This requires an imaginative re-projection of our commitment to secularism," Advani said.

In his written text of his valedictory speech, Advani maintained that BJP needs to reassure the minority community that "we brook no discrimination or injustice in dealing with different sections of our diverse society".

Interestingly, Advani in his speech condemned the controversial film deemed offensive to Islam which has sparked protests but did not read out this part of the written text like BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who skipped it in his inaugural address at the National Council.

"I would like to refer to an important issue that is agitating the minds of Muslims in India and elsewhere.... A controversial film on Islam, which is highly derogatory to Prophet Mohammed, is circulating on the Internet.

"I strongly condemn it. It is against our ethos to accept defamation of prophets and saints, who are revered by any faith," Advani said.

Advani suggested that BJP should formulate a common minimum agenda to bring others to the "NDA Plus" fold.

He said this can be called "Common National Commitment to Good Governance".

When Gadkari had taken over as BJP President nearly three years ago, he had given a call for wooing certain sections of the society to increase the party vote bank by 10 per cent to defeat the Congress. Reaching out to Muslims was a part of this project.

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