“It is our misfortune, image versus reality and ground reality versus perception. We are not communal, ‘casteist’ or anti-Muslim or anti-dalit. We want welfare of everyone, of tribals, of dalits, of women, but due to false propaganda our image has been targeted,” Gadkari (above) said. — File Photo by Reuters

NEW DELHI, Oct 6: BJP president Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday his party was neither anti-Muslim nor anti-dalit but had been victim of ‘false propaganda’, clearly carrying forward the campaign to reach out to sections seen to be outside the party’s vote bank.

“It is our misfortune, image versus reality and ground reality versus perception. We are not communal, ‘casteist’ or anti-Muslim or anti-dalit. We want welfare of everyone, of tribals, of dalits, of women, but due to false propaganda our image has been targeted,” Gadkari said.

He asked party workers to work with the marginalised sections in order to bring the party’s ‘real picture’ to the fore.

“We should present the picture of the real BJP to the people, take the exploited sections of the society along with us. Tribals, dalits, minorities, workers in the unorganised sector, women and youth... we should expand our organisational and political field,” he said.

The BJP president was speaking at a women’s workshop organised by BJP Mahila Morcha and Good Governance Cell here on Saturday.

During the party’s national executive in August, the BJP decided to strive for an ‘imaginative re-projection’ of its ‘commitment to secularism’ and reassure minority communities that it does not support discrimination on basis of religion.

Gadkari asked the women workers to look after the concerns of the female population through their authority, especially when they were holding important positions, like in women’s commissions.

“Do your states have public toilets for women in public places?... If our women don’t consider the need for having toilets in public places, then who will? Human rights is a concern that comes later, but it is the small things that have to be in focus,” he said.

He also suggested that more women should be educated in the use of computers. Gadkari said that party workers had to overcome personal interest and think about contributing to the party.

Referring to his own example, Gadkari said he had been made the party president for the second time though he never asked for it.

By arrangement with the Times of India

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