By Piyush Srivastava
LUCKNOW: AHEAD of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rally in Kanpur on October 19, the party is distributing booklets in the Muslim- dominated localities in the city highlighting the " growth of the community in Gujarat" under his chief ministership.
Party sources said it was an attempt to counter efforts of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party to sneak into the BJP's vote bank. The Kanpur event is of major political significance for the BJP as it will be Modi's first public meeting in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh in years.
Over 20,000 copies of the booklet titled "Naz Hai Gujarat Par" ( We are proud of Gujarat), published by the Minority Cell of BJP's Gujarat unit, have already been distributed in various parts of Kanpur, sources said, adding that the exercise would be extended across the state in the next two months.
The booklet states the Sachar Committee has confirmed in its report that Gujarat's Muslims have prospered in the last a few years. " Misinformation was spread across that the Muslims in Gujarat were not growing socially and economically. But the reality is just opposite of it," it claimed. Pictures of Modi with Muslims and clerics have also been featured in it.
" Over three dozen members of Modi's team have been camping in Kanpur for last 10 days. They are deciding even the minutest things… We are apprehensive of the fact that the SP government may create law and order problem during the rally and blame us for it. This is why Gujarat government officials are regularly visiting the city to review arrangements," said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
The BJP, however, knows well it would take tremendous energy to woo even a fraction of Muslim votes. " We know that it is tough to bring the Muslims in the BJP fold. But the whole idea of Team Modi is to create a flutter in the Congress and the SP camp, so that they concentrate in the minority votes and stop thinking about sneaking into our Hindu vote bank," the leader added.
Kanpur was decided strategically for Modi's first rally in UP. There are six Lok Sabha seats in the region, including Kanpur, Akbarpur, Farrukhabad, Fatehpur, Kannauj and Etawah, which are either held by the Congress or the SP. " Modi wants to claim these seats," he said.
When contacted, UP BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the Hindus as well the Muslims trust Modi more than any other leader in the Country.
" The benefits of development have reached every community in Gujarat. It is a fact that the Muslims vote for Modi in Gujarat because they want continuous development. We have every right to tell the voters the good things that Modi has done," he said.
TARGETING VOTE BANK Over 20,000 copies of the booklet titled ' Naz Hai Gujarat Par' ( We are proud of Gujarat), published by the Minority Cell of BJP's Gujarat unit, have been distributed in Kanpur. More cities to be covered in the coming weeks The booklet states the Sachar Committee has confirmed in its report that Gujarat's Muslims have prospered in the last few years Pictures of Modi with Muslims and clerics have been featured in it.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
By Piyush Srivastava