February 5, 2021 10:32:19 pm
In its list for the upcoming elections to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), the state BJP has not chosen any Muslim candidate. Hurt by the “neglect”, two party workers from the community registered their protest at the BJP office in Khanpur.
“We have met our party leaders today to tell them that we are hurt. There are Muslim dominated areas such as Gomtipur, Jamalpur, Makatmpura and Danilimda… but no ticket to a Muslim candidate… We felt hurt… We have been working for the party for years. If not us, any other Muslim candidate should have been given the ticket,” said Farooq Saiyed, a 40-year-old party worker from Gomtipur ward of Ahmedabad, who runs a provision store.
“This is communalism… It seems the party thought that the Muslim votes in these areas will be divided by candidates of parties such as Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and so, there is no need to give ticket to a Muslim,” he added.
Saiyed was joined by another Muslim BJP worker from Jamalpur, Sarfarz Shaikh, who said, “We feel that Muslims have been neglected by the party (in Ahmedabad). Not a single Muslim candidate for 192 seats! In Muslim dominated areas such as Jamalpur, with division of votes between Congress, AAP, NCP and AIMIM, the BJP had a golden opportunity to win (with votes of Hindu and sections of Muslims). In Jamalpur, there are 95,000 votes, out of which 80,000 are Muslims and rest Hindus, similar to Gomtipur.”
“We want Muslim representation in the party. If the party talks about Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas then they should also give representation to Muslims, at least in Muslim dominated areas. The party has given ticket to five Muslims in Jamnagar, but the community has been completely neglected in Ahmedabad… It brings down our morale. People (community members) anyways believe that BJP does not consider Muslims at all,” he added.
Shaikh also said that 22 Muslims had sought BJP ticket in Ahmedabad.
“We protested before our party leaders (Ahmedabad incharge) IK Jadeja and city president Jagdish Panchal. They told us that our feelings will be communicated to the top leaders. However, it is in vain as the names (for party tickets) have already been declared. I can only say that now Muslims should be considered for appointments as office bearers of state-owned boards and corporations,” he added.
Ahmedabad city BJP president, Jagdish Panchal (Vishvakarma), said, “We have a number of Muslim workers in the party in Ahmedabad and entire Gujarat. We have not neglected anybody. In the previous elections (of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation), we had given tickets to Muslim community members, so there is no neglect… These workers came to meet us, expressed their feelings and went back happily.”
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