HINDU DHARMA YATRA ORGANISER TO MODI CRITIC! By Shanker Arnimesh

Former Bikaner BJP minority morcha chief Usman Ghani with PM Narendra Modi

By Shanker Arnimesh

Ghani was expelled from party for criticising Modi’s Banswara speech. BJP functionaries say he was a dedicated party worker & one of party’s trusted Muslim faces in Bikaner.

From organising one of minority morcha’s most successful conventions and leading flower showers during BJP’s annual Hindu Dharma yatra in Bikaner to overseeing party’s outreach for the Lok Sabha polls, expelled Bikaner BJP minority morcha chief Usman Ghani has a proven track record as a party functionary.
Ghani was expelled from the party Wednesday for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech wherein the latter had remarked about ‘mangalsutra’ in Rajasthan.
From organising one of minority morcha’s most successful conventions and leading flower showers during BJP’s annual Hindu Dharma yatra in Bikaner to overseeing party’s outreach for the Lok Sabha polls, expelled Bikaner BJP minority morcha chief Usman Ghani has a proven track record as a party functionary.
Ghani was expelled from the party Wednesday for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech wherein the latter had remarked about ‘mangalsutra’ in Rajasthan.
From organising one of minority morcha’s most successful conventions and leading flower showers during BJP’s annual Hindu Dharma yatra in Bikaner to overseeing party’s outreach for the Lok Sabha polls, expelled Bikaner BJP minority morcha chief Usman Ghani has a proven track record as a party functionary.
Ghani was expelled from the party Wednesday for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech wherein the latter had remarked about ‘mangalsutra’ in Rajasthan.
Many Muslim leaders from Rajasthan ThePrint spoke to were sympathetic to Ghani saying he has proven himself time and again since he joined the party in 2005 from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
“Ghani was one of the trusted Muslim leaders of the party in Bikaner. During his presidency he organised one of the biggest conventions on Kalam’s birth anniversary in 2021, the biggest in the last 10 years across all districts in Rajasthan. Even leaders of the party’s main unit participated in the convention that year. He led several protests in the district, campaigned for Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal for the Lok Sabha polls. He was invited to welcome the prime minister during an assembly election rally,” Mohammad Sadiq Khan, state president of the BJP minority morcha in Rajasthan, told ThePrint.
Former minority morcha president Mohammed Mumtaz Bhatti told ThePrint that it was during his term from 2006 to 2011 that he learnt about Ghani, when his brother got the ticket to contest as a councillor in Bikaner.
“Whether it is organising the morcha’s ‘pushpa varsha (flower showers)’ during Hindus’ dharma yatra to maintain communal harmony in Bikaner, he always proactively worked for party work and Muslim outreach. During the recent assembly election, he was tasked to campaign and hold a community meeting in Bikaner East where former royal Siddhi Kumari was contesting. These days, he was campaigning for Arjun Ram Meghwal,” Bhatti said.
Bhatti recalled that Ghani had, on several occasions, expressed displeasure about anti-Muslim rhetoric of BJP leaders. “…He voiced his opinion about the hateful statements of our BJP leaders, but I advised him to follow the party line and keep his emotions in check and have patience. It looks like he got carried away by his emotions.”
Ghani, the BJP minority morcha’s Bikaner president, had told a news channel last week that when he goes to seek votes, Muslim voters ask him about the nature of remarks made by Modi during a public meeting in Banswara. Ghani had also said that he was not afraid if the party takes any action against him for his statement.
“As a minority (Muslim member) of the BJP, I am asked questions by the community when I go to seek votes for BJP,” he had told News24 when asked to comment on Modi’s remarks.
Earlier this month, Modi had alleged in Banswara that the Congress party, if voted to power, would assess privately-held assets of citizens and distribute them among ‘those with more children’ — a reference to Muslims. “My mothers and sisters, they won’t even leave your mangalsutras. The Congress manifesto says that if they form a government, then a survey of property belonging to every person will be done,” he had said.
Being a Muslim in a Hindu-dominated party and getting flak from the minority is part of the job, said Bhatti.
“I have worked along Sunder Singh Bhandari, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to Vasundhara Raje since the early days of Jan Sangh… Protestors from my community pelted stones at my house. We have to work on the edge of the sword. We have to listen to harsh words from our and Hindu folks when such (controversial) statements are made, but we always keep a balance between maintaining party decorum and our emotions. I counselled Ghani also about maintaining the balance,” the former minority morcha state head said.
“Nobody is walking on the principles of Deendayal Upadhyaya, who said that politics should not be based on religion and caste…but for electoral gain, such statements are given from time to time. The PM’s statement is also an electoral one,” he added.
Khan, too, spoke on similar lines. “We always inform the community about the good work of the party… People can recognise election statements; we have to stick to the discipline of the party.”
A BJP national minority morcha leader conceded that statements like the one where Modi referred to ‘mangalsutra’ were making it tough for the party to reach out to a section of voters.
“Such a statement can’t be justified. At one level, we are making Pasmanda outreach across the country and on another, creating division among the community to consolidate Hindu votes. Why will Muslims will trust BJP? But, we can’t say these things in public,” he told ThePrint.
(Edited by Tony Rai)

Courtesy: The Print

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