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Delhi: Shazia Ilmi says being sidelined at BJP events

In the party’s internal WhatsApp group for state office-bearers, Ilmi is learnt to have raised the matter of differential treatment being meted out to her by denying her an all-access pass — a facility provided to other senior office-bearers.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2019 7:47:46 am
shazia ilmi, bjp leader, Ilmi sidelined, bjp whatsapp group, indian express Ilmi alleged she was denied an all-access pass during the PM’s Ramlila Maidan event.

Delhi BJP vice-president Shazia Ilmi has raised the issue of state leadership displaying a bias against her during party gatherings, including at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Ramlila Ground Sunday.

In the party’s internal WhatsApp group for state office-bearers, Ilmi is learnt to have raised the matter of differential treatment being meted out to her by denying her an all-access pass — a facility provided to other senior office-bearers.

Ilmi, who joined the BJP in 2015 after quitting AAP, is also part of the party’s media panelists and can be seen in several TV debates defending the party’s position.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ilmi said, “I never wanted to raise this through the media, but someone has leaked the internal WhatsApp group chat.” She said this wasn’t the first time she has faced such bias, so she raised the issue in the group. “The central leadership has taken strict cognizance of the issue,” she said.

“I also want to put it straight that this should not been seen through a religious angle, rather it has to do with politics of the state leadership,” she said.

Party sources said besides Ilmi, another woman office-bearer has raised the issue of discrimination during Sunday’s rally.

A senior BJP leader said Ilmi later managed to sit in the media enclosure at the Sunday event. He said Ilmi was also disappointed over the way she was not given due space in high-level gatherings on two occasions in the past.

In 2017, when state party chief Manoj Tiwari was given charge, Ilmi was appointed as vice-president.

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari did not respond to calls seeking a comment. Delhi BJP media head Pratyush Kanth said, “Shaziaji has kept her grievances before Tiwariji. The party is looking upon it. “

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