Political merchants of votes deceived minorities in 75 years after Independence: Naqvi

Union Minister for Minority Affairs attending BJP Maharashtra Minority Morcha state executive meeting in Mumbai on Saturday. (UNI)
Union Minister for Minority Affairs attending BJP Maharashtra Minority Morcha state executive meeting in Mumbai on Saturday. (UNI)

MUMBAI, Sept 25: In a veiled swipe at Congress, Union minister and BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday cautioned minorities against the “political merchants” of their votes who he said are wearing the veil of secularism.
Addressing the state executive meeting and the training camp of BJP’s Minority Morcha for Maharashtra here, Naqvi said during the last 75 years post Independence, “the political merchants of minority votes played 75 tricks on their political chessboard to deceit minorities”.
“Creating the atmosphere of fear, raising a bogey of intolerance, spinning a web of religion, and spreading rumours is their expired formula to politically exploit minority communities,” the Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha said. Said minorities must remain cautious about such “political merchants who are wearing the veil of secularism while roaming around with a cart of conspiracies to hijack minority votes”.
his speech, the senior BJP leader slammed “pseudo-secularists” for their double standards. “The height of hypocrisy of pseudo secularists is that the Shiv Sena gets a communal stamp when it remains with the BJP and gets a certificate of secularism when it goes with the Congress. This pseudo-secular syndicate is running a certificate centre which makes someone secular and someone communal within minutes,” he said.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi, shares power with the NCP and the Congress in Maharashtra.
Naqvi said the people, especially minority communities, have seen that these “merchants of minority votes” are engaged in a “political exploitation” of minorities. He said secularism and inclusive development is the “Constitutional commitment” for the BJP.
He said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-led state governments have worked with the commitment to “development with dignity” and “empowerment without appeasement”, which has ensured equal development of minorities along with other sections. Naqvi said over 5,50,000 artisans, craftsmen and people associated with them have been provided employment and employment opportunities through the “Hunar Haat” initiative alone in the last seven years. “In the last seven years, more than 5 crore minority students have been given various scholarships. More than 50 per cent of beneficiaries are girl children. The school dropout rate of Muslim girls which was earlier 70 per cent, has come down to 32 per cent. Our commitment is to bring it down to zero per cent in the coming days,” the Union minister said.
Naqvi said the basic infrastructure such as schools, colleges, smart classrooms, ITIs, hostels, residential schools, ‘Sadbhav Mandap’, skill development centres, common service centres, market sheds, drinking water health facilities, sports facilities etc. Worth thousands of crores have been constructed in the backward and deprived areas of India under the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram”. (PTI)