Congress President Rahul Gandhi Meets Muslim Leaders, Addresses "soft-Hindutva" agenda

Congress President Rahul Gandhi Meets Muslim Leaders, Addresses "soft-Hindutva" agenda

Congress President Rahul Gandhi Meets Muslim Leaders, Addresses "soft-Hindutva" agenda(File photo)

New Delhi: On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi the Congress president, met Muslim intellectuals and is believed to have told them that his party would adopt an inclusive approach for all sections of the society, addressing concerns that it was adopting a "soft-Hindutva" agenda.

The delegation and Mr Gandhi met the former at his home in Delhi and told them that the Congress had no specific agenda for any particular religion or section. A source told news agency PTI that, it would have an "agenda for all" centred around providing justice.

Mr Gandhi was told by the intellectuals that the Muslim community was feeling threatened as the party was now adopting a "soft-Hindutva" approach to win back Hindus who had moved towards the BJP in the last elections, as reported by news agency PTI.

The Congress president assured them that the party would not compromise on its core ideology and would not allow injustice to anyone. He also stated that, while the BJP's thought process was of division, the thought process of the Congress was of inclusiveness as it had to take everyone along, the source reported.

The meeting is said to be a part of a series of interactions planned by the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, which due next year.

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The Chief of the Congress said the narrative built by the BJP, including lynchings and beating up of Dalits and Muslims, was to create a divide among people and divert their attention on emotional issues as the ruling party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had nothing to show.

On wednesday, former planning commission member Syeda Hameed, JNU professor Zoya Hasan, former president of Aligarh Muslim University Z K Faizan, educationist Ilyas Malik and retired bureaucrat A F Faruqui were among the people who attended the meeting. Former minister Salman Khursid and Congress minority committee head Nadeem Javed were also present.

However, The party, downplayed the meeting saying the Congress believed in development and inclusion for all. The party's spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "Our doors are open for everybody."

News agency ANI was told by one of attendees in the meeting, that they had advised Rahul Gandhi not to talk about the Muslim community in particular and rather speak on issues like poverty and education.

Historian S Irfan Habib told news agency ANI, "Today in the meeting, we advised Rahul Gandhi to not talk about the Muslim community in particular as it will give others an opportunity to polarise him as a leader."

The Congress chief was also advised to introspect on the party's past and how "Congress worked in the era of 1970s, when it talked about inclusiveness and "Sajha Virasat" (Shared Legacy)," Mr Habib said.

(Inputs from news agencies)

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