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UP elections: RSS reaches out to Muslims in clandestine meet

Sangh says has no role in beef violence, says personal law won’t be disturbed

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, Mohan Bhagwat, has told Muslim intellectuals that the Sangh had nothing to do with the violence against Muslims, including the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri and others elsewhere in the country, over beef consumption or cow slaughter ban.

Bhagwat met Muslim leaders at Delhi’s Haryana Bhavan on Friday (December 2). He is said to have told them to be supportive of the government by being more proactive on social media, ans also to say positive things about the government.

The attendees were told that the Sangh will push the BJP to induct more Muslims into the cabinets both at the Centre and in states where the party is ruling. They were also assured that the heat on the triple talaq and the uniform civil code will die down.

It is learnt that Muslims were also told that if their NGOs have stopped getting funds under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, the Sangh can push the government to clear individual cases if asked.

When some participants asked about the witch-hunt against Zakir Naik and his NGO, the Islamic Research Foundation, they were told that the Sangh was waiting for the government probe report to come in. The RSS also said that Zakir Naik was not helping the authorities complete the probe.

Observers say the meeting could have been held to gauge the mood among Muslims before the party commits candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, or to limit damage from demonetisation.

Apart from the RSS chief, senior Sangh functionary Indresh Kumar attended the deliberations. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar is said to have arrived after the meeting but he didn’t get to meet Bhagwat. Khattar has been under stress from the BJP’s Jat lobby in Haryana which wants the incumbent CM to be replaced by Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra.

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