Apprehensive of polarisation of votes due to projection of Narendra Modi as the head of its election campaign committee, BJP has decided to come out with a vision document for minority empowerment to reach out to these communities ahead of the next general elections.
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is involved in the process of preparing the vision document along with party leader Shahnawaz Hussain and others, maintains this is not an attempt to appease the minorities but to highlight how they are actually being "exploited" by political parties.
"Our party wants the empowerment of minorities without any appeasement of these communities. This means their social, economic and educational growth," Naqvi said.
The main opposition, however, dismisses that this proposal to make a vision document has been mooted to counter the loss BJP may suffer due to Modi's elevation as the party's election campaign committee chief.
"The minorities have been empowered in a big way in Gujarat where more than 250 Muslims have been elected (on BJP tickets) to various posts in recent elections. Similarly, a sizable chunk of BJP MLAs in Goa belong to the minority community," Naqvi said.
The vision document will deal with the need for increasing minority participation in politics, more jobs for these communities and improving their safety and security.
Justifying the need for such a document, Naqvi said "we do not wish to lose the support of the minorities because of the false propaganda about BJP by our political opponents. We want to go beyond talking about stereotypes like Wakf, Urdu and Haj for the minorities. These are important but there is more to be done," Naqvi said.
The party is also likely to target Congress and other political opponents on the issue of minority welfare.
"Thousands of communal riots have taken place in Congress-ruled states since 1960s and '70s but not even an FIR was lodged. Moreover, Muslims are arrested from states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and then declared innocent. This is done for political exploitation," Naqvi alleged.