At CMs bash, many maulvis made to stay outside crowded Town Hall

Many Muslims, including maulvis, who came all the way from south Gujarat to greet Chief Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday, had to return without seeing him because they were not allowed inside the crowded Town Hall in Gandhinagar on Tuesday. A large number of Dawoodi Bohras from south Gujarat had turned up to wish Modi.

BJP's minority cell leaders had urged Muslims from all districts to be a part of Modi's birthday celebrations. Baba Engineer Shaikh, president of Surat city's BJP minority cell, said, "From Surat, 20 people, including party leaders and maulvis, attended Modi's birthday celebrations. However, only three maulvis could enter inside. We were told that Modi would come outside the hall but that never happened."

Maulana Shariful Kadri of Katargam in Surat said, "It was our wish to meet the Chief Minister. We had planned that we would pray for his long and healthy life and his victory after greeting him. We did not get a chance to meet him, but we prayed for him outside the hall. We do not blame anybody. We were not able to reach the stage as the hall was overcrowded."

The state BJP minority cell launched its membership drive on Tuesday, setting a target of one lakh Muslims to be enrolled by September 25, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, senior Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader.

State BJP minority cell president Sufi Sant Mehbub Ali Bava said, "We will definitely cross the one lakh target. The Muslims in the state have now started turning to the BJP and we have seen the results in the last Assembly elections."

The membership drive had started in Ahmedabad since Tuesday, but the presidents of minority cells in Surat, Navsari, Tapi, Bharuch and Valsad had not received any enrolment forms till Wednesday evening. Navsari district BJP president Nisar Qureshi said, "We have not received any forms. But, as per instructions, we have made 250 members. Our target was 5,000. We are trying to get more people enrolled."

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