Families of Patna blast accused invited to Modi's Ranchi rally

Narendra ModiNarendra Modi. PTI

The Jharkhand BJP list of invitees to Narendra Modi's Ranchi rally on December 29 includes families of four Patna blast accused. The Jharkhand BJP minority cell that held a function at Sithio village near Ranchi exhorted Muslim families to attend Modi's rally without "any prejudice, and with open minds".

BJP that claims to have extended invitation cards to over 10 lakh families says it could not have "left out" some families because of the "faults of their unworthy sons". BJP leaders went door-to-door, including the house of Mohammed Imtiaz's father Kamaluddin Ansari and extended him invitation cards to attend the BJP PM candidate's rally.

Imtiaz is in NIA custody. Tariq (succumbed to injuries after Patna blast). Numan Ansari and Taufiq Ansari are absconding.

Ranchi BJP MLA and former Assembly speaker CP Singh told The Indian Express: "We did not visit houses of Patna blast accused to invite them. We have been distributing invitation cards in every village, Sithio is such a village and meeting Imitiaz's father is just a coincidence".

Singh, who attended the minority cell function at Sithio, added: "Though there is no question of defending the blast accused, barring some families, because of faults of their unworthy sons, it is courtesy to extend invitation to all. Maybe people are reading too much into our coincidental meeting with Imtiaz's father".

Kamaluddin Ansari and families of other three accused, however, did not commit their presence at Modi's rally.

BJP leader CP Singh said the minority cell got invitation cards and pamphlets printed in Urdu and had been travelling to all possible minority villages since last fortnight. "We will continue to visit people till December 28 to invite people to our rally. So far, over 10 lakh households have been extended invitation," he said.

Bihar BJP had been attacking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for "lax security arrangements causing" bomb blasts. During his October 27 Patna rally, he had justified Jharkhand BJP stand. Bihar BJP state president Mangal Pandey said: "If the families of blast accused have nothing to do with the accused, they are welcome at our Ranchi rally. But if they are still in touch with the accused, we will stay away from them as well," he said.

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