KOZHIKODE: In an attempt to reach out to Muslims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told a BJP meet here that they are "not substance of hate" nor should they be considered as "items of vote market" but should be treated as "your own".
He invoked BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay to make these comments while addressing the BJP Council meeting here in Kerala, a state with substantial Muslim population, where the party is seeking to expand its base.
He maintained that his government's mission of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' is not a political slogan but a commitment to ensure welfare of the last man in the society.
In his speech, Modi spoke at length about secularism, balanced and inclusive growth and need for electoral reforms while paying tributes to Upadhyay on his 100th birth anniversary.
"These days, the definition has been distored. Even nationalism is cursed these days," he said.
While talking about life and contribution of Upadhyay, Modi quoted him as saying, "don't reward nor rebuke Muslims.
Empower them. They are not items of vote market nor are they substance of hate. Treat them as your own."
He insisted that for BJP nobody is a "pariah".
At the conclusion of the two-day BJP conclave, the Prime Minister traced the party's journey from the days of Jan Sangh and asserted that "we never compromised with our ideology".
He said if the BJP had compromised with the ideology, it could have attained power long back.