More than 50 Muslim candidates fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party have won in the urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh, the party’s minority cell chief told The Hindu on Monday.
The minister of state for Muslim Waqf, Haj and Minority Welfare, Danish Azad Ansari, told PTI that the results proved that Muslim voters were shifting towards the BJP. The claim might come under the scanner as the BJP does not have a single Muslim MP or MLA across the country.
Even in the Uttar Pradesh local body elections, the party had put up Muslim candidates in only 395 of the nearly 14,500 seats – which accounts for a 2.75% representation. However, the number is nearly twice of the BJP’s Muslim candidates in the 2017 urban local body polls, according to The Hindu.
Of the 395 Muslim candidates in the fray, 54 have managed to win, Kunwar Basit Ali, the BJP’s Minority Morcha president in Uttar Pradesh, told the newspaper. He said that the numbers could increase after all the results are announced. The party had nominated Muslim candidates for the post of Nagar Panchayat chairperson in 32 places and five of them won, Ali told PTI.
“These results highlight that Muslims have started showing confidence and faith in the BJP government,” Ali added. “The myth that the saffron party is anti-minority is getting busted.”
The party also said that 90% of its Muslim candidates belonged to the backward Pasmanda community.
The Samajwadi Party dismissed the BJP’s claims of having gained the support of the Muslims, PTI reported. It said that the BJP should tell how many Muslim candidates it would field in the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh were held in two phases on May 4 and May 11. The BJP won all the 17 mayoral seats and emerged as the single largest party in 199 municipal councils and 544 nagar panchayats as well, according to The Indian Express.