New Delhi :  Jamait-Ulama-i-Hind chief Mahmood Madani has softened his attack on the Congress party after he came under a strong attack for a politically sensitive comment he made in Jaipur on Monday.

Targeting the Congress, he had said, ‘‘In the next election, political parties should not try to seek our votes by invoking fear of someone, on a negative plank.”

The Jamait chief, who is a former Rajya Sabha MP, had also said:” The Muslim community should not be scared. Secularism is deep-rooted in the country and communal forces can never win over the hearts of general public.”

He was clearly attacking the Congress and indirectly supporting the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Naren-

dra Modi in sync with his observations in the past that the Muslims in Gujarat have voted for the BJP on the basis of its governance record.

The cleric had also gone ahead to suggest that the Congress persuaded the Muslims to vote for it out of fear, and this evoked a strong reaction from the Congress spokesperson M Afzal.

‘‘My name is Meem Afzal and I want to assert that Muslims are like any other citizens of the country who take their voting decision like any other citizen on issues that matter and never out of fear. He has insulted the entire Muslim community and he should withdraw his remarks,” he said.

Afzal also blasted the cleric for arguing that the Congress would be basing its electoral strategy on any one person.” The Congress is a party with history and a strong ideological base, it does not contest elections on the basis of something that is said or done by one or two persons,” he added.

Now Madani has taken a stand that parties must outline their plans to ensure “equal opportunity” for the community. But then he has also drawn support from the BJP which has lauded his statement, and observed that he has indeed done the right thing.

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