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Vajpayee says there should be no ’second Gujarat’

Wednesday 23 June 2004

Kishanganj/Chapra (Bihar), April 22. (PTI): In a resolute bid to shed BJP’s image as a hardline Hindu party, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today deplored the communal riots in Gujarat and projected the NDA as a development oriented alliance to seek a renewed five-year-mandate for the ruling coalition.

Addressing election meetings at Kishanganj and Chapra to canvass support for party nominees and Union Ministers Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his government’s unswerving commitment to development and uprooting poverty and unemployment.

Reaching out to the Muslim community at his election meeting in Kishanganj, he said, "Hua nahin hona chahiye tha. Aiye hum faisla karein ki kabhi doosra Gujarat nahin hoga. Hinduon aur Musalmanon ko ek doosre ko sha ki nigah se nahin dekhna chahiye (What happened in Gujarat should not have happened. Let us resolve not not to allow another Gujarat to happen anywhere else. The Hindus and Muslims should not see each other with mistrust.)

In his nearly half-an-hour speech, Vajpayee dwelt at length on India’s improving relations with Pakistan and said the number of communal riots had come down drastically during the six years of NDA rule.

Trying to present an amiable face of the BJP to the predominantly Muslim constituents of Kishanganj, Vajpayee said the government had decided to recruit two lakh Urdu teachers to promote the language and proposed to make available Rs 74 crore for madrasa students.

See online : The Hindu


in The Hindu, Thursday, April 22, 2004.

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