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Najma brushes aside claims of ‘intolerance’ against NDA govt

Union Minister Najma Heptulla on Wednesday said claims of “intolerance” against the NDA government were aimed at distracting attention from Narendra Modi government’s development works and averred that the government is committed towards protecting Constitution and welfare of minorities.

As the political slugfest over “climate of intolerance” escalates, Minority Affairs Minister Heptulla said opposition parties are blowing up “one-odd” incidents as Mr. Modi’s development agenda is not going down well with them even as she, indirectly, held previous regimes responsible for present development deficit of minorities.

Among other issues, she also advised Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who recently expressed concerns over “intolerance”, to guide people on tolerance than complaining in this regard.

“I feel pity for those who try to gain political mileage out of one-odd incidents, politicise the same. It is this weakness of their politics, they do not have any programme.

“The allegations are dead opposite of reality and are in accordance with a plan to distract attention from Modi’s development work. The government is committed to bridging development deficit of minorities and protecting Constitution,” she asserted.

Ms. Heptulla said development deficit of minorities was highest when she took charge of the Ministry a year-and-half ago and held the previous regimes of UPA responsible for it.

She said Mr. Modi has extended his “complete” support towards bridging the deficiency in terms of training the youth from minority communities and their economic and social backwardness.

“I have been heading a department which is social, whose development deficit has been highest of all. During this period, I have received complete support from Narendra Modi and his government. So, to claim that there is intolerance…I don’t buy these claims,” she said.