Free Press Journal

Chidambaram wonders if BJP will support minority schemes


Sivaganga (TN): Questioning Narendra Modi’s credentials vis-a-vis minorities, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today wondered whether BJP will continue with the minority welfare schemes and support related organisations if it came to power.

Though Modi was in power for three terms in Gujarat, he had not fielded Muslim candidates in elections to Assembly or Parliament, Chidambaram said.

He asked if BJP, which was for a Common Civil Code, would support minority laws.

“BJP’s view will divide the country, and not unite it,” he said addressing a minorities conference at Kalayarkovil near here in his home district.

He said Congress played a major role in getting rights for the minorities, backward classes, women and Dalits by making various amendments to the Constitution.

“We are responsible for the reservation system, and providing opportunities for women,” he claimed, adding the party should continue in power for the welfare of these sections of population.

Congress-led UPA government had allocated Rs 7,000 crore for the minorities during 2007-12, and another Rs 17,323 crore for the next five years from 2012.

“Now I am asking if the Minorities Development Finance Corporation (MDFC) will continue or not,” he said in an apparent reference to BJP and Modi even as he wondered if various pro-minorities schemes, including in education sector, presently underway in 121 districts would be taken forward if BJP came to power in the upcoming elections.

Among others, BJP was against special status for Kashmir and supported construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, he said.

He also recalled Modi’s analogy of him being saddened if a puppy came under a car’s wheels while responding to the 2002 riots in his state.

Chidambaram claimed the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK had sent bricks for karseva for building Ram temple after the Babri mosque demolition, a charge denied by her.

He recalled Jayalalithaa in her earlier regime had banned forcible religious conversion though it was repealed by DMK government.

People did not accept even dignified leaders Like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, how could one expect Modi to be accepted by them, Chidambaram asked.