The BJP is thrilled with unexpected support for their prime ministerial hopeful, Narendra Modi, coming from a significant Muslim voice, the Jamiat-i-Ulama-Hind chief, Maulana Mahmood Madani. In an interview with a television channel Madani said the “situation of the Muslims in Gujarat was bad but it was worse in some of the secular states”.
He even said that though the government could create fear about Modi among Muslims, the minority community has seen through these tactics.
The BJP welcomed the observation from someone close to the ruling elite in India’s leading Islamic seminary, the Deoband-based Darul Uloom. Though it is Mahmood Madani’s uncle Maulana Arshad Madani, who really runs the show in Deoband, Mahmood Madani does have a major influence in the institution. The BJP believes that the statement is a precursor of things to come.
Party spokesperson, Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the minorities have realised the benefits of the development politics practised by the BJP. They had been cheated by the practitioners of vote-bank politics, he said.
Other senior leaders pointed out that the change was happening for quite some time. In the recently concluded assembly polls in Gujarat, BJP candidates won in Muslim dominated constituencies. Even the party’s Muslim nominees did exceedingly well in the municipal polls that followed. This trend has become quite noticeable in recent polls.
It was not just a tendency restricted to Gujarat. The party believes it will be perceived in states across the country. As a senior leader explained there is large section among the Muslim youth who aspire for better things in life. They are gradually adjusting themselves to the changing reality. They realise that BJP offers a better future in the long run and that is why there is a systematic change of mind-set.