NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the contribution of the Dawoodi Bohras to peace, development and the growth of the entrepreneurship in the country even as he emphasised how this section of the minority community had supported government causes be it health care and child nutrition, education, housing for the poor or cleanliness. Speaking at the Ashara Mubarak programme held at Indore to mark the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain, Modi underscored his proximity to the leaders of the community and their support and love towards him since his days as chief minister of Gujarat. The Prime Minister also highlighted the various welfare schemes of his government on the occasion.
Dawoodi Bohras are an economically sound community that are present in good numbers in Gujarat, Modi’s home state. They have business interests in various states and on foreign shores. Though BJP sources maintained there was no vote bank politics or any political motive behind Modi attending this programme, the Prime Minister used the occasion to show his long association with the top leadership of the community. He also underlined that the Centre’s programmes are for the welfare of all sections of the society.
“The Prime Minister’s speech belies the perception created by the Opposition about him and the BJP. His programmes are for sabka saath, sabka vikas. There was good jugalbandi (coordination) between him and the Dawoodi Bohra community,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told ET. Incidentally, Modi also mentioned that not all business people are honest. His remarks come at a time when the issue of businessmen like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fleeing the country is being hotly debated.
“It is also true that all five fingers are not the same. In our midst, some people are found who consider cheating as business. In the last four years, the government has succeeded in giving the message that whoever it is has to stay within the boundaries of rules. Honest business people are being encouraged through GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other such laws. And the biggest beneficiaries of these laws is the Bohra community,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi lauded the work done by the Dawoodi Bohras for child nutrition through Project Rice, running community kitchens for the people, working for affordable and preventive health care, education, building homes for the poor. The Prime Minister said the ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme for universal health care will be inaugurated on September 25 and described it as one that would cover more people than the population of US, Canada and Mexico put together.
“I am told that 11,000 people have got houses due to your efforts. The government has also set the target of providing pucca houses to our poor brothers and sisters by 2022,” Modi said.
Source: Economic Times