Modi pledges to protect Muslims


BBC Online :India’s main opposition BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has reassured the Muslim community that they will be protected under his leadership.Modi on Tuesday also requested his supporters to refrain from making inflammatory remarks.His advice came after some Hindu nationalist leaders made anti-Muslim speeches while campaigning for the ongoing general election.Praveen Togadia, a senior leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), reportedly told his supporters to not allow Muslims to buy property in Hindu localities.Another leader said those who did not support Modi could go to Pakistan.Both leaders later denied making such remarks.But the Bharatiya Janata Party has come under intense media pressure as many feel that such “inflammatory” remarks go against Modi’s overtures of religious harmony during his recent speeches.”I’ve to run the government. Governments run on the basis of Constitution. I believe a government has one religion and that’s India First,” The Times of India quotes him as saying.Modi also said that he had been unfairly targeted over the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the western state of GujaratAs chief minister of Gujarat, Modi is credited with turning the state into an economic powerhouse. But he is accused of having done little to stop anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people died – an allegation he has always denied.”From day one, I’ve taken moral responsibility for the 2002 riots. My speech in the assembly, media interviews are available and can be examined. You’ll find all the answers you’re seeking,” he told a Hindi news channel.Meanwhile, papers report that Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, on Tuesday “fiercely” criticised the BJP for accusing her husband of corruption.