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BJP Fields 350 Muslim Candidates, AIMIM to Contest 432 Seats in Uttar Pradesh Municipal Polls

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded about 350 candidates in the coming municipal polls in Uttar Pradesh. BJP’s political jugglery is out in the open. Other political parties are trying their luck too. The All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Uttar Pradesh Unit General Secretary and Spokesperson Dr. Pawan Rao Ambedkar disclosed that the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) would be trying its luck on 10 seats in Lucknow and 432 corporator posts in the coming Uttar Pradesh municipal polls.

Ambedkar said, “We had also fought the local body elections in 2017. However, the results in Lucknow were not relatively good. But our party did well across the state then.” He said his party has been raising civic issues like poor solid waste management (SWM), bad roads and traffic, street lighting in Lucknow and the state. Talking about the contenders in the municipal elections, he said, “We do not see anyone as a contender as both the opposition and the ruling party are scared of our campaign. We are getting overwhelming support from all sections, including Hindus, Dalits, Muslims, and other sections,” he boasted.

It is significant to note that Dr. Pawan Rao Ambedkar joined AIMIM in September 2021. He remained with the party despite its dismal performance in the last Assembly elections in UP. These days, he is busy campaigning for the AIMIM in Lucknow and other parts of the state. On Monday, he will be campaigning in Wards 52 and 85 in Lucknow. In the evening, he will visit Bahraiach.

The Uttar Pradesh civic polls will be held in two phases on May 4 and 11, with the counting of votes for both phases scheduled on May 13. For the first time, the BJP has given tickets to about 350 Muslim candidates for the upcoming UP civic body polls. Muslims are contesting as councilor/corporator candidates in the Nagar Nigam and presidential candidates in the Nagar Palika among others, under the party’s lotus symbol.

The BJP has been trying to connect with the marginalised Muslim community for the past several months. The BJP’s efforts to connect with the community are seen with initiatives such as the Pasmanda Dialogue Conference, and an Urdu version of PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat. However, this time around, the party is trying to remove the tag of being indifferent to it.

It is learnt that the BJP has given tickets to Muslim candidates from Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Jhansi, Agra, Firozabad, and Mathura Municipal Corporations.

Even in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency, the BJP has given tickets to Muslim candidates in four wards of the Nagar Nigam. Similarly, in Gorakhpur, the constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, tickets have been given to Muslim candidates for the post of councilors. Candidates from the minority community have also been fielded for the post of councilors in Jhansi, Agra, Firozabad, and Mathura Nagar Nigams.

In this municipal election, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded 11 Muslim mayoral candidates in 17 municipal corporations. In response to this, the BJP has also announced about 250 Muslim candidates in the first round of this election. The Samajwadi Party also has its eyes on the Muslim vote bank.

Strange it may sound but the BJP has fielded Muslim candidates for the post of the chairman of Firozabad municipal council, Amethi municipal council, Rampur in Moradabad division, Amroha, and several other places. Through this, they aim to break the SP’s and the BSP’s imagined grip on the Muslim vote bank.

Akhilesh Yadav’s party has termed the BJP’s experiment a “political gimmick.” “The entire country knows that at this time, minorities are the most scared. It is the BJP’s job to harass Muslims, kill them in riots, plant riots, and disrupt unity during Ram Navami. Giving tickets to Muslims in UP civic polls is just a ploy, the BJP wants to promote their politics,” Samajwadi Party leader Ameeq Jamei opined.

The BJP’s tickets to the Muslim candidates is being seen as its political jugglery before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Prior to this, the party had not given tickets to any Muslim candidate in the recent Assembly or Lok Sabha elections. If the BJP wins in most constituencies with these 350 candidates, even then the possibility of it fielding Muslim faces in Uttar Pradesh for the first time in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections looks highly unlikely! The same spectacle of fielding Muslim candidates in municipal polls was enacted in Gujarat but when it came to the Assembly elections, not a single Muslim candidate was fielded by the BJP! Not just the elephant but the BJP has different teeth to show and to eat. For now, the BJP is eating and chewing Muslims into political exclusion!

BJP Fields 350 Muslim Candidates, AIMIM to Contest 432 Seats in Uttar Pradesh Municipal Polls

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