This Article is From Sep 19, 2011

Controversy over Modi's alleged refusal to wear skull cap

Controversy over Modi's alleged refusal to wear skull cap
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi refused to put on a 'skull cap' offered by a Muslim cleric during his three-day 'Sadbhavana' fast here.

Sayed Imam Shahi Saiyed, a cleric of a small Dargah in Pirana village on the outskirts of the city, had on Sunday, gone up to the stage to greet the Chief Minister, at Gujarat University Convention hall.

He offered Modi a skull cap, but the Chief Minister politely refused to wear it, asking him to offer a shawl instead. The imam did so and Modi was seen accepting it.

"Modi's refusal to accept the cap is not my insult but an insult to Islam," Saiyed told reporters today.

"I had come to Ahmedabad after hearing about the Sadbhavna Mission fast and went to the stage to felicitate Modi. When I offered him the cap he told me that he would not wear it. He might have thought that wearing a skull cap will dent his image," the cleric said.

The BJP, however, said it was a non-issue. "Narendra Modi has clearly said that his policy is not of appeasement of a section of society unlike other parties, but our approach is development for all and treating everyone as equal," state party spokesperson Vijay Rupani said.

"Thousands of members of the minority community have come here, but nobody insisted that Modi put on a skull cap. This is a non-issue which is being turned into a big one by our opponents," Rupani said.