Ram-temple issue should be resolved at earliest: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today pitched for a resolution of the contentious Ram temple issue at the earliest. He, however, advocated a "wait and watch" approach amid demands from many of his BJP colleagues for a law to construct a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and said that the Narendra Modi government has not spoken on the matter yet.
Naqvi says Muslims want an amicable settlement
On how Muslims view the issue as, the Minority Affairs Minister said, "A common Muslim wants peace and an amicable settlement. He doesn't have an attitude of conflict which may harm social unity." Asked about no adverse statement coming from Muslims on the temple issue, Naqvi said, "Muslim community is a very peaceful community. They don't want to involve themselves in any destructive agenda."
Resolution regarding Ram temple would be arrived at soon: Naqvi
Naqvi also rejected the opposition's claim that the BJP and its Hindutva affiliates were deliberately bringing forth the Ram temple issue ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The matter has long been in court, and organizations linked to it, he said in an apparent reference to Hindutva bodies, thought that day-to-day hearing would be conducted and a resolution would be arrived at soon.
There's a growing support for Modi among Muslim voters: Naqvi
Naqvi said the issue of Ram temple was part of the BJP's manifesto even in the last elections. He also claimed that there was growing support for PM Narendra Modi among Muslim voters. "From America to Arab, Modi's capable leadership is being acknowledged," Naqvi said, adding that there has not been a single big riot or any terror activity under the BJP-led NDA government.
Naqvi attacks opposition parties for politically exploiting the minorities
Asked about the cases of lynching, Naqvi said they should not have happened but action has been taken against the accused. Attacking opposition parties for politically exploiting the minorities by keeping them embroiled in non-issues, he said the "dirty dean department" of the Congress has been alleging that there is intolerance and that the minorities are not safe.
Naqvi supports renaming of places, says Mayawati did it too
Naqvi also supported renaming of some places by the BJP government in UP, saying since independence there has been a talk of renaming cities that are historically and religiously important. "In view of public sentiments, there's nothing wrong if names are changed. When Mayawati was CM, she had also changed the names of many districts," he said, adding other governments also keep doing it.
Opposition grand alliance is without any agenda, will fail: Naqvi
Naqvi, who comes from UP, also said the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties to unseat the Modi government will fail as "two plus two does not make four in general elections". "Voters aren't a transferable commodity. The grand alliance is without any agenda. Its only common minimum programme is 'Modi hatao, humein kursi pe lao' (Remove Modi, bring us to power)," he said.
Grand alliance seen as big threat to BJP in UP
The proposed alliance of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party is being seen as a big threat to the BJP in UP where it had won 71 of the state's 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 when the two regional parties had fought separately.