At a time when some BJP leaders are raking up the controversial ‘love jihad’ issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that he had “no idea” about it.
Many BJP leaders including Lakshmikant Bajpayee and Yogi Adityanath have raised the issue ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
“Arey yeh hai kya. Hume nahi maloom (What is this. I don’t know),” was Singh’s reply when reporters drew his attention towards BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat issuing statements asking Hindu girls to stay away from Muslims.
Brushing aside reports of differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that the relationship between the two is “cordial”.
“He is our Prime Minister and an effective Prime Minister and I am the Home Minister in his government. What else,” Singh said.
Earlier, in his opening statement at a press conference on completion of 100 days in office, Singh drew a parallel on the working of his ministry with cricket.
“Working in the Home Ministry is neither a 20-20 nor a one-day cricket match but a test match where one has to play a long innings for which we need to have a strong opening.
Asking Maoists to shun the path of violence, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said Government was willing to talk to Naxals provided they give up arms and come to the negotiating table.
On the Naxal issue, the Home Minister categorically said that talks with Left Wing Extremists were possible if they shun the path of violence.
On possible talks with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during the forthcoming SAARC meeting in Nepal, Singh said if neighbours work on expected lines, talks are not impossible.
“Padosi agar apeksha ke anuroop kaam karen, toh baatcheet kyun nahi ho sakti (if neighbours work on expected lines, then why can’t talks take place),” Singh replied.
Singh said that the first 100 days of his ministry were focused on fulfilling the promises made by the BJP in its election manifesto which included working out steps for return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley.
He said the Government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants and talks were underway with all stake holders for building confidence among them to return to the Valley.