Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the lone Muslim minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, has said that the Bharatiya Janata party needs to do a lot more to gain the confidence of his community “whose minds have been poisoned over the last 70 years”. Naqvi, who holds the portfolio of Minority Affairs, also revealed his party’s plans to woo Muslims. Naqvi said that BJP government would remind Muslims of the schemes the government started for their development and the efforts it made against ‘triple talaq’ during the campaigning for the 2019 elections.
Naqvi had recently hosted an Iftar party for Muslim women, which was also attended by a few victims of ‘triple talaq’. “We have to do a lot more to gain the confidence of Muslims because their minds have been poisoned over the last 70 years,” Naqvi was quoted as saying by the PTI. “But, the good thing is that the new generation, the women are evaluating the BJP on its merits and demerits. This is a very positive development,” he added.
The minister asserted that his party’s recent defeat in Kairana by-election has prompted it to have re-look at its strategy for the Lok Sabha elections. However, it has not affected the party’s “winning spree”, he said. “It does not mean that we will lose all the elections. Now that we know that the opposition parties will stitch an alliance to contest the Lok Sabha polls, we will prepare a strategy to counter them,” the minister said. As the regional heavyweights have been mulling the idea of forming a “united front” against the BJP, Naqvi alleged that the Congress and other rival parties had “always used Muslims for vote bank politics” and had not done anything for their development.
“The Congress and others always feel that Muslims will vote for them out of compulsion. So, they have never focused on their development and empowerment,” he claimed. Naqvi said that the “BJP government had honestly worked for the welfare of the community.” Naqvi also said that current Narendra Modi-led regime had taken various steps for “restoring the dignity” of Muslims and the BJP was not running after votes, he said.