Following BJP’s spectacular victory in Uttar Pradesh, which has a considerable Muslim population, Muslim leaders of the party in Gujarat are hopeful of tickets in the upcoming Assembly polls. After a good show by Muslim candidates in local body polls in Gujarat, the Minority Morcha was upbeat for gaining more foothold in the party organisation. But, its leaders have not gone beyond getting more than Morcha level posts.
Sufi Maheboobali Chishti, president of Gujarat BJP’s Minority Morcha, said, “The Muslims did get a BJP ticket in UP elections despite being in large numbers because the Minority Morcha of the party in that state is weak.” He said the party in Gujarat was expected to think positively about fielding Muslim candidates considering their winnability.
Acording to Chisty, “Tere are at least six seats like Jamalpur, Limbayat, Vankaner, Jambusar, Vagra and Abdasa where the party should think of fielding the Muslims.”
In the local body elections, 200 out of the 350 Muslims fielded by BJP had won, and over 100 of them where made chairmen of various committees, added.
“It is not BJP does not field the Muslims for Assembly elections. It had done so in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. We hope that it will give tickets to the Muslims, provided there are candidates having winning possibilities,” he said.
Last week, in the results announced for the panchayat byelections, BJP saw a Muslim candidate, Hidayatullah Khan Pathan, winning a ward in the Mahudha municipality of Kheda district uncontested.
Of the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, at least 66 have over 10 per cent Muslim votes.
Gujarat Haj Committee chairman Mohammed Ali Qadri said: “More than giving ticket to this or that community, the first priority of the party was to free UP from the grip of SP, BSP and the Congress… Anyway, one Muslim was accommodated in the ministry, so the community has representation in the UP government.” He expressed the hope that the party would work in the direction of “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” mantra.