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Two years of Modi govt: Faith of minorities in PM has been strengthened, says BJP

Two years of Modi govt: Faith of minorities in PM has been strengthened, says BJP

New Delhi: Often accused by the opposition of creating a sense of insecurity among the minorities, BJP claimed communal riots have gone down by 82 per cent and the share of minorities in central government jobs has risen substantially under the Modi government. As the NDA government completes two years in office on Thursday, BJP fielded two of its Muslim ministers who asserted that the faith of the minorities in Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been “strengthened”.

Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and her junior Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also cited the party’s win in assembly polls in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir to suggest that Muslims, who are in large numbers in both states, have supported it due to its developmental agenda.

“The mantra of the government for minorities has been education, prosperity and security. That is why their share, especially that of Muslims, in the central government jobs has gone up to 8.7 per cent from 6.91 per cent in 2013-14 under the UPA,” Naqvi told a press conference at the party office.

While there were 823 and 144 communal riots in 2013 and 2014 respectively in which 113 and 94 persons died, the numbers went down to 64 in 2015 and one in 2016. Naqvi, citing Home Ministry figures, claimed while three persons died in communal riots in 2015, one has been killed so far this year.

“The incidents of communal riots have gone down by 82 per cent,” he claimed. “The faith of minorities in Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strengthened,” he said while playing down controversial comments of some BJP leaders, maintaining what Modi, party president Amit Shah and spokespersons say should alone be taken as the party’s stand.

“The problem with opposition parties is that they have no real issue and that is why they manufacture issues but the myth of Muslims not supporting BJP has been broken by the community,” Naqvi claimed.

He said the number of successful Muslim civil services aspirants has also gone up.

“The government has been able to instil a mood of development and trust,” he said. Under the Prime Minister’s 15 point programme, a scheme that envisages various ministries spending 15 per cent of their budget in areas with strong presence of minorities, he said 7667 schools were constructed under ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan’ besides 829 anganwadi centres. Rs 4365 crore was spent in 138 areas where there was concentration of minorities in 2015-16, he said.

Asked how the government can take credit for the rise in minorities’ share in jobs, Naqvi said it does show that it had been able to create a suitable environment. In another briefing, Heptulla said, “The fear among minorities has definitely gone down and confidence has been developed. Confidence building takes some time. “The focus of the Narendra Modi government is mainly on sab ka sath, sab ka vikas (inclusive growth). And the Assam Assembly poll result suggests that confidence is building among people,” Heptulla said.

She said the NDA government made available 18.4 per cent more funds under the multi-sectoral development programme (MSDP) for minorities as compared to UPA. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, the UPA government had released Rs 641.26 crore and Rs 953.21 crore, respectively, for MSDP. The NDA government gave Rs 767.86 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 1120.34 crore for 2015-16, she said.