Patna: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar on Wednesday charged the BJP with stoking controversy over the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the Aligarh Muslim University in order to polarise voters in Karnataka ahead of the Assembly elections.
Controversy over portrait of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the AMU students' union office, which has been reportedly hanging there for several decades, erupted last week after local BJP MP Satish Gautam shot off a letter to the vice chancellor objecting to the picture.
The NCP national general secretary asserted that Indian Muslims had their affinity towards leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and not with the founder of Pakistan, but the BJP was raking up the issue as it has achieved little in the four years of its rule at the Centre.
"The AMU is a central university of which the President happens to be the Visitor. Had the Centre been really serious about removing the portrait of Jinnah from the premises, it could have ordered the same without making a fuss. But the BJP had other plans," Anwar told reporters here.
The BJP has been in power at the Centre for four years but it finds itself in no position to speak about its own achievements, he said.
"Assembly polls are round the corner in Karnataka and the party (BJP) seems to have fallen back on its old tactics of communal polarisation," the former Union minister alleged.
"An attempt is being made to portray Muslims of the country as supporters of Jinnah when the fact remains that those who backed the founder of Pakistan had migrated to that country upon Partition," the Lok Sabha member from Katihar, said.
"Those Muslims, who stayed back, have never had anything to do with Jinnah. They have always looked up to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, considered them as a source of inspiration," he said.
"Nobody is going to object if the Centre wishes to remove the portrait of Jinnah from the AMU or any other organisation or institution across the country. An order from the HRD ministry would serve the purpose," Anwar added.
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Updated Date: May 09, 2018 22:37:31 IST