New Delhi: For the two-phase Gujarat assembly elections which are slated to be held on December 13 and 17, no Muslim candidate is being fielded by the ruling BJP. The party has already declared its candidates for 181 out of the 182 seats.
Given the fact that Muslims comprise 9.1 percent of the total population of Gujarat, questions are being raised on Modi’s ‘Sadbhavna Mission’. However, the BJP claims that distribution of tickets have been made on the basis of winnability factor and not on religious lines.
It seems that the Muslims have politically become nonexistent in Gujarat during the BJP regime. Though in the past, there was some recognition to this community as 11 Muslims were elected to the state legislature in 1985.
Meanwhile, social activist Hanif Lakdawala is of the view that Modi’s Sadbhavana Mission was a mere gimmick. He further adds that Modi should have allotted tickets to a few Muslim candidates despite the fact that this community would not vote for the BJP.
Businessman Zafar Sareshwala opines that the identity of a candidate hardly matters. What is important is the development of all communities.
On the other hand BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that BJP does not discriminate on religious lines. It has only given tickets to winnable candidates.
While Congress leader Jagdambika Pal said that the BJP’s denial of tickets to Muslims shows the ruling party’s double standards.