A day after Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi surprisingly saying ‘it would have been better if BJP had given tickets for assembly seats to Muslims in Uttar Pradesh elections, other leaders of the party have stepped in to control the damage and put forth the stand of the leadership at the highest level. With voting for some phases in UP elections still to be carried out, BJP has looked to bring the controversy to a quick end. Speaking today was firebrand BJP leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Yogi Adityanath who said, “Not getting ticket doesn’t mean government will not work for those who haven’t got a ticket.” His comments come in the wake of BJP not fielding even a single Muslim candidate in Uttar Pradesh – the state has a massive Muslim population.
Naqvi himself had sought to play down his own comment on Monday itself when he said that the BJP believes in taking along all the sections of the society and the Muslim community will be adequately compensated. He indicated that both Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Uma Bharti had comments to the effect that Muslims should have been given more tickets too earlier. Naqvi had then added “We will address their concern by compensating them when we form government in the state.” Exactly what form that compensation will take was not made clear by Naqvi or other BJP leaders.
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Expanding the scope to the Centre too, Naqvi said the NDA government’s performance should not be assessed in the light of the BJP not offering tickets to Muslims. He had added, “The BJP believes in taking along all the sections of the society. We formed government at the Centre with cooperation of all. Similarly, we will form government in the state”.
Uttar Pradesh is going through the exercise of conducting the 5th phase of elections to 51 assembly constituencies, which are spread across 11 districts of the state.
(With PTI inputs)