The Times of India
New Delhi, 22 April 1995
9. Vajpayee for diluting stand
BOMBAY, APRIL 21 - Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Atal Behari Vajpayee has urged toning down of the Hindutva stand of the BJP to avoid alienating Muslims.
Muslims had supported the party in large numbers in the recent assembly elections. He is understood to have told a closed door national level conclave of the party at Virar in Thane district.
The party must tread a “middle path” to inspire confidence among the minorities, he said. In this context, he proposed that issues of Krishna Janmabhoomi at Mathura and the Vishwanath temple at Benaras should be dropped from the party’s agenda.
Mr. Vajpayee said the minorities felt alienated from Congress and looked up to BJP as a national alternative.
The conclave urged BJP governments in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi to expedite implementation of public welfare programmes and called on party units in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to broaden their base at the grassroots level and strengthen their organisational set up.
A special discussion was held to formulate an electoral strategy in Uttar Pradesh.
Senior party leader Sikandar Bakht and chief of party’s minority cell Arif Beg have been entrusted with the work of popularising party programmes.