Kerala: BJP’s lone Muslim pick defends Modi’s Rajasthan speech

As for Modi’s speech, Salam said it was an attack on the Congress, not the Muslim community.
NDA Malappuram candidate M Abdul Salam
NDA Malappuram candidate M Abdul SalamPhoto | Express

MALAPPURAM: NDA Malappuram candidate M Abdul Salam, the lone Muslim candidate from the BJP in fray, defended the party’s decision to expel BJP’s Minority Morcha Bikaner district president Usman Ghani, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks at an election rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara last week that snowballed into a controversy.

In an apparent reference to the Muslim community, the PM had claimed that the Congress will distribute citizens’ property among “infiltrators” and “those who have more children” if voted to power. Speaking to a news channel in New Delhi, Ghani had said he was disappointed with Modi’s observations. He was later expelled for his comments against Modi.

Speaking to TNIE, Salam said Ghani should have maintained party discipline. “Ghani was dismissed as he made statements that should not have been made while he is a member of the party. In any party, leaders should maintain at least minimum discipline. You will have to obey some policies of the party, even if you don’t agree with them. And, if you cannot accept them, you should quit the party,” Salam said.

As for Modi’s speech, Salam said it was an attack on the Congress, not the Muslim community.

“He was attacking the Congress party at the election campaign in Rajasthan, not Muslims. He criticised the practices of the Congress, citing that public funds were being utilised to entice a specific segment of the populace to secure their votes,” Salam said.

Salam had some unpleasant experiencing while campaigning in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency. Salam said proper party machinery could have overcome such anti-BJP sentiments. “The party has a significant presence at nationally, but organisational machinery commensurate with the party’s national presence was not operational in the constituency from where I contested,” he said.

However, Salam said he was confident of enhancing the BJP’s vote share in Malappuram constituency.

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