In its campaign to project its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a secular leader ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is making an appeal to Muslims in Kanpur to wear skull caps and burqas for Modiís rally scheduled to be held on October 19. The Gujarat Chief Minister will begin his poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh with the Kanpur rally.
Members of Kanpur Mahanagar unit of the partyís minority morcha are running a door-to-door campaign asking Muslims to attend the rally.
Raees Ahmad, president of the BJP minority wing, told The Indian Express, ďWe are making an appeal to Muslim men to wear skull caps while women are requested to wear burqas in the rally on October 19. That is being done to ensure that Muslims in the rally could be recognised easily and their support for the party could be assessed.Ē Ahmad said he expected at least 5,000 Muslims from Kanpur city to attend the rally. He said the appeal was made Monday in the Muslim-dominated areas of Kanpur such as Chamanganj, Besanganj, Babupurva and Dalenpurva.
UP BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai, however, denied the reports of any such plea being made for the Kanpur rally. ďNo directives have been given from party to make any such appeal. BJP never divides the people on the line of religion, caste and gender.Ē
Ahmad also said the BJPís minority wing will start a campaign after the rally to facilitate voter registration of Muslims in the district.
UP BJP minority wing general secretary Haider Abbas Chaand said, ďTo attract Muslims for the rally, we are telling the community about the all-round development that the Modi government has done in Gujarat. We are telling them that Modi government has not done any partiality against Muslims in Gujarat and the Congress is misleading them against Modiji.Ē