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1-min read

Greater Representation for Muslims in Future, Says BJP's Kalraj Mishra

In what can ignite a fresh debate within the BJP, Union Minister and senior leader Kalraj Mishra has promised greater representation to Muslims within the party in future.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:March 1, 2017, 6:58 PM IST
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Greater Representation for Muslims in Future, Says BJP's Kalraj Mishra
File photo of Union Minster Kalraj Mishra with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Deoria (UP): In what can ignite a fresh debate within the BJP, Union Minister and senior leader Kalraj Mishra has promised greater representation to Muslims within the party in future.

Talking to CNN-News18, the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said, “In the days to come, we will bring Muslims to Parliament and state Assemblies through direct election.” The statement was made in reply to a question on why the BJP had no Muslims candidates in Uttar Pradesh this poll season.

“This time around, party strategists had made ‘winnability’ the sole criteria and hence we couldn’t reach out to minorities in that way. But we had been sending them to Rajya Sabha and upper houses in state Assemblies,” Mishra said.

The minister’s statement comes amid Opposition allegations that leaders like Gorakhpur MP Mahant Adityanath and Rajya Sabha member Vinay Katiyar are trying to divide voters along communal lines.

Mishra denied allegations that communal polarisation was‎ part of the BJP's strategy for Uttar Pradesh. He claims Brand Modi is the game-changer. “The Modi government’s welfare schemes had a direct impact on all, cutting across caste and religious lines. LPG cylinders under Ujjwala Yojna had also reached Muslim households. That's the reason why burqa-clad women now like Modi,” he said.

“Our government and party's vision is clear. We have always aspired for integration and development of all. Modi ji had been for long portrayed wrong by political opponents. But now as Prime Minister, his approach of Sabka Saath‎, Sabka Vikas is slowly bringing the change in perception about us,” the minister added.

Taking a jibe at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Kalraj said, “Akhilesh's slogan of ‘Kaam Bolta Hai’ has been exposed. It's actually true for the BJP in this election.”

Kalraj, however, is cautious when it comes to answering a key question — who will be the CM in case the BJP gets to form the government. “That's an issue which our parliamentary board has to decide. The question about my possibility is hypothetical. At the moment, we are focusing on winning the elections.”




| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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