The minorities panel of the Bharatiya Janata Party has urged the central leadership to field at least 20 Muslim candidates in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, The Print reported on Tuesday.

In an interview to the news website, BJP Minority Morcha chief Jamal Siddiqui said that the panel has identified 100 seats in Uttar Pradesh which have 30% voters from religious minorities.

In the last state elections in 2017, the BJP had not fielded a single Muslim candidate in the state.

“There are a number of seats that have a sizeable Muslim population and there are many which we had lost [in 2017] by a small margin too,” Siddiqui told The Print. “[...]We want more representation from the Muslim community and this will help them move forward in society.”

Siddiqui also said that the election results in West Bengal and Assam have shown that Muslim candidates could win if they contest for the “right seats”.

“Though [BJP’s Muslim candidates] did not win a seat [in West Bengal], in two seats, we gave tough competition,” Siddiqui said in the interview to The Print. “In Assam too, we had fielded candidates from the minority community.”

Meanwhile, the BJP on Tuesday held a meeting of its core committee to discuss strategy and probable candidates for the Uttar Pradesh election, ANI reported.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, state unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among those present in the meeting held at the party headquarters in Delhi.