Rahul Gandhi meets Muslim intellectuals

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:As a part of Congress’ campaign to reach out to various sections ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, its president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met Mulsim intellectuals at his residence here.

Gandhi is believed to have told them that his party would adopt an inclusive approach for all sections of society with an agenda to provide justice to all, allaying their fears that it was adopting a ‘soft-Hindutva’ agenda.

He told them that the Congress had no specific agenda for any particular religion or section.

It would have an ‘agenda for all’, the crux of which would be providing justice, PTI quoted its source as saying.

He told them that the party would not compromise on its core ideology and would not allow injustice to anyone.

Gandhi said that while the BJP’s thought process was of division, the thought process of the Congress was of inclusiveness as it had to take everyone along, the source said.

The intellectuals told Gandhi that the community was feeling threatened and asked what agenda the Congress had for them, as the party was now adopting a ‘soft-Hindutva’ card to win back Hindus which had shifted towards the BJP in the last elections.

Among the intellectuals from the minority community who met Gandhi today were former planning commission member Syeda Hameed, JNU professor Zoya Hasan, former president of Aligarh Muslim University Z K Faizan, educationist Ilyas Malik Zafar Mehmood and retired bureaucrat A F Faruqui.

Former minister Salman Khursid and Congress minority committee head Nadeem Javed were also present.

While talking to the media post meeting, Khushid said the Muslim intellectuals discussed “public policy” with Gandhi.

A number of lawyers, historians and university intellectuals met Gandhi and disscussed public policy. They gave their feedback to the leader of Opposition on the areas they are working in. Hope more such interactions will take place in future,” Khurshid said.

On Gandhi meeting selective intellectuals, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is selective when he chooses to meet his corporate friends but refuses to meet the farmers who protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.”

“This is a wrong comparison but I would only want to say that the Congress believes in development for all, inclusion of all, and equality for all.

“Our doors are open for everybody. The intellectuals who would want to wish to meet him, he (Gandhi) would be happy to meet them, he meets ambassadors of all the countries, diplomats from across the world, she said.

“He meets corporate friends from across the country, he meets women, people from MSMEs, fishermen, farmers of this country. His meetings are for everyone. His meetings are regular. He also meets ‘Anganwadi’ workers. I think there is no one, he does not meet,” she added.

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