In recent months, the BJP has continuously targeted the Muslims of Pasmanda through a series of meetings. File image for representation. | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA
With the Uttar Pradesh Urban Local Body (ULB) election just around the corner, the BJP is reaching out to the Muslim community, mainly the Pasmandas. Party leaders said about 250 Muslim candidates have received tickets so far, with the number likely to reach 400, a four-fold increase from the previous election. They also said that 90% of the party’s Muslim candidates for the ULB polls would be from the marginalized community of Pasmanda.
Apart from fielding Muslim candidates in districts with sizable minority populations such as Moradabad, Rampur, Muzzafarnagar, Amroha and Bijnor, the BJP has also handed out community tickets in Varanasi and Gorakhpur.
“Previously, the Muslim community did not come forward to demand BJP tickets, but this time we had multiple applicants in many seats. It highlights that our acceptance has increased among the community. We have given tickets to about 250 Muslim candidates so far, which could increase to 400. In Varanasi, we have given four tickets to Muslims, including three women,” said Kunwar Basit Ali, chairman of the BJP state unit Minority Morcha. the hindu, while adding that 90% of the tickets are being delivered to Pasmandas. The term ‘Pasmanda’ refers to the depressed classes among Muslims. They are said to make up about 80% of the Muslim community in India.
In the Varanasi Municipal Corporation, the party features Huma Bano from Madanpura district, Reshmi Biwi from Badhu Kacchi Bagh and Vakil Ahmed Ansari from Jamaluddinpura. Likewise, in the Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation, the saffron party has fielded Hakibul Nisha from Baba Gambhirnath’s Other Backward Classes (Women) reserved seat. In the districts under the Moradabad administrative division, the party has fielded Muslim candidates for three Nagar Palika (municipality) president posts: Rampur, Tanda and Afzalgarh. Overall, the party’s Muslim candidates will compete for more than a dozen Nagar Panchayat president seats and nearly 100 councilor seats in the Moradabad division.
Asked what really motivates a member of the Muslim community to run for election with the BJP candidacy, Salim Kassar, a Muslim from Pasmanda fighting in the district councilor election in Muzzafarnagar, said the threat of violence Community has diminished under BJP rule and this gives the minority community “a sense of security.”
“Most of the people who belong to the Muslim community are poor and are involved in daily wage labor. For them, violence or even minor communal incidents lead to months of unemployment. With the BJP in power, the threat of communal outbursts decreases,” Mr. Kassar said. Muzaffarnagar is a communally sensitive district that witnessed riots in 2013 that killed at least 60 people.
The candidates also explain that as government policies benefit the minority community, voter support has increased. “When the community realized that there is no discrimination in the provision of welfare policies and that they benefit equally from the central and state governments, a large part began to support the party,” said Ms. Bano. The Hindu.
Voting in 760 ULB will take place for 14,684 positions, including 17 mayoral seats and 1,420 councilor positions, in two phases on May 4 and 11, while the vote count is scheduled for May 13. These votes are considered a “semi-final” for political parties. ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in UP, politically the most crucial state in the country with 80 Lok Sabha members.
In recent months, the BJP has continuously targeted the Muslims of Pasmanda through a series of meetings. He had also nominated former Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council as part of his Muslim outreach.