For the upcoming Godhra municipality elections, Congress has decided not to give tickets to any Muslims from minority-dominated areas as a part of its strategy. The party is only going to contest six of the 11 wards and will not contest on the remaining five wards where Muslims are in majority. Muslims account for nearly 40 per cent of the population of Godhra.
The decision to not to offer tickets to Muslims in areas dominated by the community has been taken to avoid the “mistake” the party made during the 2010 municipality polls when it fielded candidates on its election symbol across all 42 seats. Some who were denied tickets contested as independents, with 14 emerging victorious.
On the other hand, BJP refrained from fielding any candidate from Muslim-dominated localities and only fielded 24 candidates. The party later received the support of all 14 independent Muslim councillors.
Congress sources said a faction of Muslims also worked against the party during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which the party candidate, Ramsinh Parmar, was defeated by a huge margin. They said that the best way out of this situation was to not offer tickets to any of the willing candidates, not even the four sitting councillors, and leave the floor open for the candidates to contest as an Independent who will be then open to join the party after the results are out.
Congress leader of opposition in Godhra municipality, Firoz Sindhi, said, “We recently met GPCC chief Bharatbhai Solanki to discuss the matter. The party will not offer tickets to any candidate in wards where Muslims are in a majority and let willing candidates fight as independents. They can later support the party.”