BJP Will Get Comfortable Majority in Bihar Polls: Heptulla

BJP Will Get Comfortable Majority in Bihar Polls: Heptulla

The opposition was diverting attention from development to communal politics as it was "scared" of BJP's prospects of victory in Bihar polls, Union minister Najma Heptulla today said and exuded confidence of attaining a comfortable majority in the ongoing polls.

She said the BJP-led NDA government was only focussing on development as its election plank and accused the opposition parties of playing up communal issues.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always talked about development...'sabka saath sabka vikaas', without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or colour. This is the most secular agenda we can have," the Union Minister for Minority Affairs told PTI.

She is here for a review meeting of his ministry for seven northern states.

Referring to controversial issues like beef ban and Dadri taking centrestage in Bihar polls, she said the opposition is scared of the BJP's prospects of victory in the polls and diverting attention towards communal politics.

"In an interview earlier this year, the Prime Minister had said that he would rather lose an election than seek votes in the name of religion.

"The opposition parties, after the landslide victory of BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, are diverting the focus from development to communal politics," she added.

Asked about BJP's prospects in Bihar polls, she said, "I am not a psephologist to give you a number of seats that we are going to win.

"However, I can tell you that we will have a comfortable majority."

Heptulla said that the Constitution was the only "sacred book" guiding the present Union government and "we will abide by it."

She said there were apprehensions before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that the Minority Affairs Ministry might be wound up if BJP led by Modi came to power.

"That has not happened. In fact, the budgetary allocation has been doubled from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore," she said.

Heptulla said her ministry is focussing on education as the main mode to uplift the minorities from backwardness.

"More than 60 per cent of the funds in NMDC corpus are being spent on providing scholarship to the minorities. We believe education is the only way to bring the under-privileged sections of the society at par with the rest of it," she said.

The Minister said the other area of focus has been skill development which will ensure employment avenues for youth, economic prosperity and preservation of traditional arts.

"We have identified 18 arts and crafts which we will be promoting under the skill development programme. We want to make arts and crafts financially attractive so that a son of a weaver does not turn to other trades. It will also help in preserving our crafts like carpet weaving, wood carving, etc from dying," she said.

Heptulla said her ministry is coming up with more programmes for the minorities to uplift them in the coming days.

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