Rajasthan assembly elections: BJP’s minority wing seeks tickets for Muslim members

The BJP Minority Morcha on Tuesday demanded tickets to Muslim candidates for the assembly polls, saying that the Hindu-Muslim polarisation will not work in Rajasthan where communities have lived in harmony.

Morcha vice president Sadiq Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national party president Amit Shah and chief minister Vasundhara Raje demanding representation to Muslims.

Khan said no Muslim had found place in the BJP’s first list of 131 candidates, which was released on Sunday. “There should have been 5-6 names of Muslims in the list. When Rajputs, Jats, Brahmins, Banias, SC, ST have got tickets, then why has the minority been ignored?” he asked.

Khan met Raje and state BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna. He said the two leaders were non-committal and said the workers should wait for the second list of candidates.

He said hundreds of workers like him work tirelessly for the party and go among Muslims to seek votes for the BJP. “Our position has become awkward. How do we go to people and ask them to vote for the BJP when Muslims are sidelined,” he asked.

In the letter Khan wrote that polarization by the BJP won’t work in Rajasthan. “Unlike UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, the Hindu-Muslim factor won’t work here as all communities live in peace and harmony.”

Khan said in the 2008 assembly elections, the polling by Muslims was over 70% and Congress had won by a large margin. In 2013, the polling by Muslims was only 38% and there were many seats that Congress had won by a thin margin.

Sadiq said this time if the Muslims and Jats in the Marwar belt shift to Congress it will affect polling on 40-50 seats and could damage the BJP.

BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said the party did not give tickets on basis of religion. “We give tickets to candidates on basis of their winnability and the feedback from workers. The second list is yet to be declared so they should not be disheartened.”

First Published: Nov 14, 2018 10:22 IST

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