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Muslim ticket aspirants of BJP in Manipur left disappointed

Imphal: It is turning out to be a heartbreak for Muslim ticket aspirants of the BJP in the upcoming Manipur Assembly polls with even the party’s state unit President of Minority Morcha failing to get the nod.
Out of a total of 17 aspirants who had sought party tickets to contest in five different assembly seats, so far only one — Md Anwar Hussain — has been given the green signal to be the candidate from Lilong — a constituency with the largest Muslim population in the state.
In three other constituencies of Keirao, Wabgai and Wangkhem where there is a sizeable Muslim population, the party has decided to go with candidates from the majority Meitei community.
The party has so far announced the first list of candidates from 31 seats out of a total of 60.
The next list is expected in a day or two in which state BJP Vice President and former bureaucrat AR Khan, who has sought ticket for Kshetrigao seat, will get to know about his fate.
Md Salam Khan, the President of Minority Morcha of BJP Manipur, who had sought to contest from Keirao seat, expressed disappointment with the way the party has distributed tickets.
“BJP’s ticket distribution hasn’t taken into consideration the ground reality. It is not on the basis of merit for sure but neither central nor state leaders have explained to us why we have been denied tickets,” Khan told PTI.
He had lost out to L Rameshwor Meitei.
Khan had joined BJP in 2014 after being a Congress member for over 10 years. “If you look at it, the ticket has been given to someone who joined the party just two months back,” he lamented.
While asserting that he would continue to be with BJP, Khan said: “The way tickets have been distributed this time has definitely made my job difficult to explain to the Muslim community in the state about BJP’s intention. We are finding it to counter Congress’ propaganda that BJP wants a minority-less government in Manipur.”
He said out of a total of 60 seats in Manipur there are 18 constituencies, where Muslim votes are swing factors, which BJP will now find it difficult to garner. “When you give ticket to Muslim for just one seat, that too for a constituency where the community is majority what is the message being sent out to the rest of population in the state?” he wondered.
Expressing similar sentiments, MI Khan, who joined BJP six months back after giving up the vice president post of state Trinamool Congress unit, said he was lured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ideology and principles.
“But when you see the pattern of ticket allotments, when deserving Muslim candidates are denied tickets you do realise that the BJP isn’t for the minority community,” Khan alleged.
Now having decided to contest from Keirao constituency on NCP ticket, he said, “We will expose the fact that BJP doesn’t stand for the minority. There are 18 constituencies in Manipur where Muslim votes do play a key factor and we will ensure that the community doesn’t endorse the communal party.”
Likewise, Md Habibur Rahman, who was the Vice President of Minority Morcha BJP Manipur, has joined JD(U) to contest from Wagbai after failing to get BJP ticket.
“Initially we believed in Narendra Modi’s ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ slogan but when tickets are distributed there’s a question mark raised on the intent of BJP. Its actions are showing to be Hindu-oriented,” he said of the party for which he was a member for two years.
Calls and messages to BJP Manipur spokesperson O Joy remained unanswered. (PTI)

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