Shahnawazuddin, 42, brother of Sohrabuddin Shaikh who was killed in an allegedly faked encounter in Gujarat in 2005, is campaigning for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. He says he’s comfortable with the BJP ideology and will not leave the party just because it has projected Narendra Modi as PM candidate.
“He is not an accused yet. If the investigation throws up his name, I will take a call. I see no contradiction in what I am doing now,’’ he told The Indian Express. “When the family began the legal battle by getting an FIR registered, we did not know who was behind the encounter,’’ he said, but admitted his brothers don’t agree with him.
The family, hailing from Zhirnia village in Ujjain, are old supporters of the Jana Sangh. Shahnawazuddin said his father’s association with the Sangh predates that of Modi’s or Amit Shah’s. Shahnawazuddin was an office-bearer of the BJP’s district minority cell (rural) until recently and is a guardian of a dozen-odd villages near Unhel. He is seeking votes for the BJP’s Ujjain candidate, Chintamani Malviya.
His younger brother Rubabuddin, petitioner in the Sohrabuddin case, says, “Seven generations of mine will not vote for him or the BJP. How could we when we are seeking justice for our slain brother?”
Nayabuddin, the youngest brother, fought the recent assembly election on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Khachrod. He got barely 2,000 votes.