Former BJP President Rajnath Singh
during the seminar on Minority issues held in Mumbai on
When it declared to organise the day-long seminar February 20, ETV
Network promised to provide a common platform to discuss the
challenges minorities are facing in India. The seminar held in a
Mumbai hotel, however, turned into a common platform for the
leaders and politicians from various political parties and groups
to score over one another, amid blame game and sans concrete plans
for the minority empowerment.
Hurling the salvo against the Indian
National Congress was former Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president
Rajnath Singh with the support from party MP Shahnawaz Husain
whereas at the receiving end were the top Congress leaders
including Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan, Union
Minister Salman Khurshid, State Congress President Manikrao Thakre
and others. At the same time, the BJP leaders were leaving no
stone unturned to use the opportunity to woo the Muslims - most of
the time even taking the stand totally against the BJP policy and
promising something, opposing which is the core of BJP politics.
"Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) was in
power for just six years in the sixty-three years of independent
India. How can it be blamed for the backwardness of the
minorities", said Rajnath Singh who was presiding over the
seminar that was aired live on ETV channels.
"Let the government come out with a
concrete proposal for the Muslim empowerment, safety of the Awkaf
properties or on any other pending issues, BJP will certainly
support them", he added.
Vehemently denying the allegations
that he and his leader LK Advani had went to see Sadhavi Pragya
Singh Thakur, one of the accused in the Malegaon blast case,
Rajnath Singh said, "BJP
is neither providing any support to Malegaon blast culprits nor
does it have anything to do with them."
On Swami Aseemanad's confession
and release of the Muslim accused, he said, "The
CBI is investigating these cases. We should wait for the results
and have faith in the judiciary."
leader's strong show of Muslim appeasement even further, Sayyed
Shahnawaz Hussain, BJP MP from Bhagalpur said, "BJP has no role in
whatever that happened to the minorities in the past. We are
concentrating on current generation and its prevailing issues, and
if the government brings a resolution in the parliament for the
development of the minorities based on Sachchar Committee report,
BJP will fully support it."
Minister in his comments on Swami Aseemanand's confession and
release of Muslim youths reiterated his earlier stand and said no
injustice would be done to anyone.
"Justice will be done to every individual of the state. An
innocent won’t pay for someone else’s crime and a criminal won’t
be let free to create massacre, I assure you from this forum", he
Salman Khurshid also reiterated his earlier assertions and said,
the government is committed to the development of the minorities
and taking all efforts for the proper use of wakf properties.
On the minority
status of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University
Salman Khurshid could just say that these institutions are
established by the Muslims and they are for them.
The seminar that
started at 10:00 in the morning ran till 04:00 in the afternoon.
What is surprising to those present is the lack of seriousness
among the politicians in addressing the challenges minorities are
"From the seminar
one thing has come out very clearly. The Muslim community is no
more interested in mere rhetoric and empty promises. They want
concrete plans for their empowerment and the politicians should
make note of this", Karim Salar, Jalgaon based educationalist and
head of Iqra Education Society who was present in the seminar said