Roxy Gagdekar l Ahmedabad
Opine poll pundits who say this displays the end of chief minister Narendra Modi’s ‘pseudo secularism’ & the ‘great drama of sadbhavana’
The die has been cast for 2012 assembly elections — the BJP goes to the Hustings for the third consecutive time under the leadership of chief minister Narendra Modi. However, once again sans a single minority candidate in BJP’s list of 177 nominees.
BJP failed to consider demands by Muslim workers to announce at least four Muslim candidates in the minority dominated seats. Minority members who joined BJP during the Sadbhavna meetings are sad; they are still trying to find out why Modi showed no bhavana for them at all. A school of thought propounds that fearing plausible damage by the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) to the BJP’s Hindu votebank in case of triangular contests, the saffron party avoided fielding Muslim candidates altogether. This theory may come as a surprise for the Muslim ticket aspirants, who joined BJP with the hope of changing the Saffron party’s mindset, and ended up with nothing in their hands. However, BJP’s act doesn’t ruffle the political pundits and sociologists like JS Bandukwala and Ghanshyam Shah.
Shah said that the great drama of Sadbhavana ends here. Over a period of time, for the last few years, Muslim representation in Gujarat politics has decreased. “Modi’s pseudo secularism had ended up with the announcement of this list,” Shah said. Dr Bandukwala said that it is not possible for Modi to allow a Muslim contestant at this stage. “He holds Gujarat because of 2002 and the development agenda is secondary. He wants to take care of his core constituencies and won’t allow the GPP to grab the Hindu votes,” Bandukwala said.
“It could have happened only if there would have been an inactive Keshubhai Patel,” said JV Momin, All India Congress Committee (AICC) delegate and senior congress leader. He stated that this only indicates that the BJP is clearly afraid of Gujarat Parivartan Party, which is flooded by Hindu leaders.
BJP leaders, including retired IPS officer, AI Saiyad, who joined the BJP recently and state president of BJP’s Minority wing, Sufi Sant Mehboob Ali Baba chose to avoid media queries.
After the announcement of 354 candidates out of around 5,000 BJP candidates in the Municipal Corporation and Taluka Panchayat elections of 2010, Muslims hoped to get mandate for some constituencies of assembly elections from the BJP.