February 5, 2023

Muslim candidate BJP BJP will give a Muslim candidate?

This is a million dollar question. The party is constantly reporting in the media that the party is trying to reach out to the Muslims of Pasmanda and Vohra after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech and has a big plan for it. Remember, Prime Minister Modi had asked the party leaders at national executive meetings in Hyderabad and later in New Delhi to try to connect with the minority backward Pasmanda Muslims and inform them about the party’s work. Then came news that the party had identified 60 Lok Sabha constituencies where the Muslim population is more than 30 percent and up to 60 percent. In these constituencies, BJP leaders will try to connect with the backward Muslims.

Now the question is what does it mean to join the Muslims? Will the party give a Muslim candidate? Remember BJP does not have a single Muslim MP in Lok Sabha. Three Muslim MPs in the Rajya Sabha – Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MJ Akbar and Syed Zafar Islam – all three completed their terms last year. No one was sent back to the upper house. Recently, a Muslim leader from a reserved tribe in Jammu and Kashmir was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. So, there is not one Muslim MP in the Rajya Sabha and not one in the Lok Sabha. Naqvi was the only Muslim minister in the central government, now there is none. That’s why the question is, what is the benefit of reaching Muslims? The party has identified 60 seats in states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc. Henceforth if there is talk of fielding Muslim candidates in some of these constituencies, there will be some traction among the people of that community, otherwise this campaign exercise is pointless.

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