CM watches slide show on 2002 riots, says point taken

A known critic of Narendra Modi, Syed Zafar Mahmood on Saturday presented a slide show on the 2002 riots and various problems being faced by Muslims in front of the Gujarat Chief Minister, who reportedly promised to "consider it".

Mahmood, who was the officer on special duty (OSD) with Sachar Committee, made the presentation at Young Indian Leaders Conclave where Modi remained closeted for a day with 200 participants out of which 30-odd were from the minority community.

After the presentation, Modi reportedly told Mahmood, "It is very good you said all that and I'll consider it".

To a question whether Modi was reaching out to various sections of the society to get higher acceptance, Mahmood told PTI, "Yes, you are very right. I think that was the very purpose of inviting me. And my first impulse was, sorry, I would not be able to come. But then I thought a lot about it."

"...Better go and meet him. Tell him what are the perceptions of the Muslim community in India. What are the complaints of the Muslim community with BJP? Why is the Muslim community heavy-hearted with BJP and Modi?" he said.

"And I'm very happy. My presentation was taken in stride. And very, very attentively, he (Modi) and the rest of the audience looked at it, heard it," Mahmood said.

In his presentation, Mahmood highlighted the plight of the victims displaced by the 2002 riots, who were now residing in Dhorajinagar and Citizen Nagar, located near a giant heap of trash dumped there from all over the city. Mahmood claimed he urged Modi to pay a visit there.

He said he also raised the issue like BJP's views on Sachar Committee, anti-Muslim articles on BJP's official website and creating a special cadre for Waqf board.

Asked how Modi reacted to his presentation, Mahmood said, "I think the reaction was better than expected".

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