Indian media: Modi's reassurance to Muslims

Narendra Modi is hoping to defeat the ruling Congress Party Image copyright AFP
Image caption Narendra Modi is hoping to defeat the ruling Congress Party

India's main opposition BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has reassured the Muslim community that they will be protected under his leadership.

Mr Modi on Tuesday also requested his supporters to refrain from making inflammatory remarks.

His advice came after some Hindu nationalist leaders made anti-Muslim speeches while campaigning for the ongoing general election.

Praveen Togadia, a senior leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), reportedly told his supporters to not allow Muslims to buy property in Hindu localities.

Another leader said those who did not support Mr Modi could go to Pakistan.

Both leaders later denied making such remarks.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party has come under intense media pressure as many feel that such "inflammatory" remarks go against Mr Modi's overtures of religious harmony during his recent speeches.

"I've to run the government. Governments run on the basis of Constitution. I believe a government has one religion and that's India First," The Times of India quotes him as saying.

Mr Modi also said that he had been unfairly targeted over the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the western state of Gujarat

As chief minister of Gujarat, Mr Modi is credited with turning the state into an economic powerhouse. But he is accused of having done little to stop anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people died - an allegation he has always denied.

"From day one, I've taken moral responsibility for the 2002 riots. My speech in the assembly, media interviews are available and can be examined. You'll find all the answers you're seeking," he told a Hindi news channel.

'Hurt' Priyanka Gandhi

Meanwhile, papers report that Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, on Tuesday "fiercely" criticised the BJP for accusing her husband of corruption.

"A lot of things are said about my husband… every day I tell my children that the truth will prevail... I feel pained at the kind of politics that has come to the fore in these elections," she said.

Newspapers say she has responded after "repeated verbal attacks" from the BJP.

"Breaking her silence for the first time on allegation against her husband, a 'pained' Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday said Robert Vadra is being targeted for political reasons," reports the Hindustan Times.

And finally, a 50-year-old man in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has named his children after prominent politicians, The Asian Age reports.

One of Mithai Lal Bharti's sons is known as Manmohan Singh while his daughter is called Sonia Gandhi.

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