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BJP eyes more Muslim faces in Bengal unithttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/bjp-eyes-more-muslim-faces-in-bengal-unit/

BJP eyes more Muslim faces in Bengal unit

Shakeel Ansari, state president, said it was important that a Muslim from the party addressed the minority community.

In a bid to consolidate its support base among Muslim voters in West Bengal, the BJP is mulling over bringing in more members of the minority community within the state unit, which will see new faces after the current panel’s tenure ends in 2015.

Shakeel Ansari, state president, BJP minority cell, said it was important that a Muslim from the party addressed the minority community.
This would provide a connect between the BJP and the community and help the minorities regain their confidence, he said.

Citing the example of how the imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati spoke on behalf of the TMC and influenced the Muslims, Ansari said: “My name had been proposed as the spokesperson at the state level on many occasions. I had myself spoken to state president Rahul Sinha that with a Muslim leader in a credible post, it would be easier to reach out to the minority community,” he said.

“The Muslims of Bengal voted for the TMC. It is time to get them back by cleansing their minds of the myth that BJP is a party of the Hindus,” he added.

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He also added that although state president Rahul Sinha was positive about the whole thing, he could not take a decision in that regard.
“Rahul (Sinha) is clear about the purpose, but unless there is a green signal from the Sangh Parivar, he cant take such decisions,” he said.
BJP leader Samik Chowdhury admitted of such a possibility. “Yes there have been talks about it, but nothing has been decided,” he said.
Other BJP leaders, however, said it was too early to say. “Let the new team be formed, it will be decided then,” said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hossain.

Senior state BJP leader Ashim Sarkar said the new state team would be formed in 2016. “Technically, the tenure of this body ends in November 2015. But, since Assembly elections would be close by then, the current team would not be dissolved. So it is too early to say anything regarding the composition of the next panel,” he said.