Releasing a book on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, titled "Musalman Aur Yogi Adityanath", Union minister Ramdas Athawale batted for Hindu-Muslim unity.
Some Muslims faced atrocities in the name of "gau raksha", Athawale said Friday, while urging the members of the minority community to come forward to protect the cow, which is revered by the Hindus.
"Some Muslims faced atrocities after the (Narendra) Modi government came to power. Nuisance happened in the name of gau raksha, but Muslims should also protect the cow as Hindus revere the animal," Athawale said.
The Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment asserted that Modi and Adityanath "are not anti-Muslim", which was reflected in the prime minister's "Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas" slogan.
Athawale also recited a self-composed couplet eulogising Adityanath and asserting that the people of the country would defeat those driving a wedge between Hindus and Muslims.
"UP mein chamak raha hai Yogi Adityanath ka tara, Hindu-Musalman ko ladane walon ka baja denge barah, (Adityanath's star is shining in UP, we will defeat those pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other)," recited the minister.
He said Hindus and Muslims should refrain from fighting over the Ayodhya issue and wait for the Supreme Court verdict on it, while claiming that there was originally a Buddhist shrine on the disputed land.
The author of the book, Irfan sheikh, a journalist, said he had certain anxieties over Adityanath's fiery statements, but had a change of heart after seeing him weeping in Parliament and saying he had not left home and become an ascetic to face "false allegations".
The book highlights Adityanath's life and works, his political evolution and equation with the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh.