NEW DELHI – In an attempt to dispel the notion that the BJP does not give tickets to Muslim candidates, the saffron party’s Minority Morcha has initiated the process of preparing Muslim cadres as potential contestants for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal.
The national President of BJP’s Minority Morcha, Haji Jamal Siddiqui, told IANS: “It’s time to increase the representation of Muslims in electoral politics and the BJP is working on it.”
Siddiqui said the Minority Morcha has identified about 50 minority dominated assembly seats in West Bengal and he believes that some of these seats will be contested by Muslim candidates in the upcoming elections.
The BJP leader pointed out that the representation of Muslims in electoral politics has declined over a period of time, which needs to be corrected.
“From pancahayat to Parliament, Muslim representation has fallen over a period of time. People also blame us (BJP) for not giving tickets to Muslims, which is not true as tickets are given on the winnability factor of a particular candidate. We have started working to improve Muslim presence in electoral politics,” he said.
Talking about his plan, Siddiqui said that the BJP is grooming its Muslim leaders at the ground level. Sharing details for the West Bengal assembly polls, Siddiqui said that due to the continuous efforts in about 50 Muslim dominated Assembly seats, the party not only found workers for the booth level committees, but also found ‘panna pramukh’ and some of them have great potential to perform well in electoral politics.
“We have started working on these Muslim dominated Assembly constituencies in West Bengal. We believe that some strong Muslim leaders suggested by us will get BJP ticket to contest the upcoming Assembly polls,” he said.
Siddiqui also stated that besides West Bengal, Muslim dominated seats in other poll-bound states of Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been also identified.
He claimed that such an exercise is required as till now majority of the Muslim leaders were more interested in getting appointed as vice chairman of some commission or some other appointments instead of fighting electoral battle.
“We are working to change this mindset and prepare Muslim workers of the party as potential candidates. The work also helps in strengthening the organisation in future and also increases the representation of Muslims in electoral politics, from panchayat to the Parliament. It will also silence the opposition which always says that BJP doesn’t give tickets to Muslims,” Siddiqui said.