New Delhi: Seeking to allay any apprehensions among muslims, Narendra Modi today ruled out scrapping any existing constitutional and statutory mechanisms meant for their welfare and said he would instead work to strengthen them.
Terming secularism an “import” from the West, Modi said that Congress has used it to pocket Muslim votes and they are now being treated as a “vote bank” by it and other parties. In an interview to Urdu weekly ‘Nai Duniya', he said the Constitution has given equal rights to all citizens and religious harmony and respect for all religions are in “India's DNA”.
Asked if he would do away with the Minority Commission, Minority Finance Development Corporation as feared by his critics, Modi said, “There is a need to strengthen constitutional and statutory bodies and not to abolish them.
“The need is to make them productive and strong so that they could do solid work instead of continuing with the existing system which takes symbolic measures.”
On question whether BJP would bring a Uniform Civil Code, the BJP leader said its implementation does not mean that Hindu Code would be imposed on all citizens of the country.
“Constitution says that the government will make efforts to implement the Uniform Civil Code... I believe that there are several provisions in the Hindu Code which are irrelevant and they need reforms. Carrying 18th century laws in 21st century is unnecessary,” he said.
Implementation of Uniform Civil Code is one of the core issues of BJP and finds mention in its manifesto. Modi said “extremism” over castes and religions have been used to divide the country and advocated “zero tolerance” for the guilty in religious and caste violence.