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17 Apr 2017

Pitch for Muslim sisters - PM seeks awakening against 'evil customs' but advocates resolution without conflict

Modi at the 11th-century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
The temple was built by King Jajati Keshari of the Somvamshi 
dynasty, Shiva, known as Lingaraj, is the presiding deity.
Picture by Ashwinee Pati
J.P. Yadav, TT, Bhubaneswar, April 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said society should be "awakened" against "evil customs" to ensure justice for Muslim women, referring to the practice of instant triple talaq which is now before the Supreme Court, but added that conflict should be avoided.
"Muslim sisters should get justice. If there are evil customs, society should be awakened and efforts made so that Muslim women get justice," he said in his address on the concluding day of the BJP's two-day national executive meeting here.
Briefing reporters over what Modi had said at the closed-door meeting, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the Prime Minister had underlined that the issue should be resolved without any conflict in Muslim society.
During discussions on a resolution to thank the Centre for taking the "historic" step of granting constitutional status to the OBC commission, Modi asked the party to hold conventions of backward sections from the minority community.
"We have to reach out to them since they too are among the most backward people in society," Modi is learnt to have said.
Asked about this, Union minister Prakash Javadekar explained that Modi had been referring to Pasmanda (backward) Muslims who come under the Other Backward Classes category.
Modi asked the party not to get agitated about the criticism over the attacks on churches, award returns and allegations of the rigging of electronic voting machines. He said "Opposition factories" manufactured or blew up such issues but they invariably fizzled out.
"Ignore them and focus on the main target," he said, explaining that the goal was to transform the country's socio-economic character.
To achieve this goal, he said, party members would have to shed complacency and work harder and faster, in "mission mode".
"We have to take a long jump," Gadkari quoted Modi as saying.
Like many of his recent speeches, Modi's lecture today was peppered with references to " gaon" (villages), "garib" (the poor) and " kisan" (farmers) as he continued to try and project a pro-poor image.
The political resolution passed at the meeting said the BJP had wrested the pro-poor plank from the Congress.
Modi again spoke of a "new India" by 2022 and coined a slogan on the subject, saying the country needed to focus on " jan dhan (human resource), van dhan (forest resource) and jal dhan (water resource)".
He unveiled two acronyms, too - P2 (pro-people and pro-active) and G2 (good governance).

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