No tickets for Muslim candidates, no sops for them in the poll agenda. The election manifesto released by BJP national president Amit Shah and team in Lucknow instead of luring the minority, appeared to have teased the Muslims.
The party has offered help to the Muslim women opposing triple talaq, announced shutting down of illegal slaughter houses and above all reiterated their commitment to construct the Ram Temple in Ayodhya through Constitutional help when the BJP came to power.
While Shah defended the no tickets to Muslims by asserting that selection of electoral candidates was solely on the basis of winability criteria, he said that no sops have been given especially to the Muslims because the BJP believes in development and prosperity and a fair playing field for all.
Reacting to the manifesto being anti-Muslims Dr Mustafa Kamal Sherwani, Chairman, All India Muslim Forum, felt that it was wrong of Muslims if they even expected anything from BJP for the minority community. “Why should the BJP have any special schemes for the minority when it know that not even one percent of the Muslims will vote for them?” he asked
He said Muslims have openly declared that they want to defeat BJP through tactical voting so it now a clear hate-hate relationship on both the sides. Under such circumstances by not making any poll promises to the minority they have succeed in pleasing their hardcore Hindu fundamentalists.
He said that since Modi has become prime minister the divisive forces in the BJP have lessened and this has angered some of the hard core leaders in the party. By giving any sops to the minority the party would only have angered such forces more. This would have harmed the party.
Dr Sherwani said that BJP has acted with wisdom and now the Muslims must act wisely too. He suggested that Muslims must not moan the fact that BJP has sidetracked them but to come on track and vote intelligently and unitedly, not letting their votes go waste.
But Tariq Siddiqui, secretary general UP Muslim Majlis Mushwarat, is of the view that the BJP has once again belied its party slogan of “Sabka saath Sabka vikas’ (Everyone’s contribution, everyone’s development). “If BJP really believed in this slogan it should have fielded at least 50+ good Muslims in the elections. Now this slogan sounds hollow and meaningless.” Adding that there is no dearth of good Muslim candidates.