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Will BJP bet on Muslim face in UP by-election? Clues are coming from the Kundarki seat equation

Nita Yadav

By Nita Yadav

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Will BJP bet on Muslims in by-elections?

Although no formal announcement has been made yet regarding the assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, the political chessboard has begun. BJP is going all out to win by-elections on 10 seats in the state. The responsibility of by-elections has been entrusted to ministers in the Yogi government. After the setback in the Lok Sabha elections, the by-elections have become a question of credibility for the BJP. Due to which the party can make a new political experiment. Will BJP, which has avoided giving tickets to Muslim leaders since 2014, bet on Muslim faces in the by-elections?

A big Muslim leader of BJP is claiming the ticket in the by-election to the Kundarki assembly seat in Moradabad. SP’s Ziaur Rehman was elected as an MLA in the 2022 assembly elections, but the Kundarki seat fell vacant after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Sambhal seat in 2024. Political activities have intensified for the by-election in this Muslim-dominated seat. In such a situation, the Muslim leaders affiliated with the UP BJP Minority Front organization are preparing to contest the by-election from the Kundarki seat. For this he has also contacted many leaders of the party.

Kundarki seat came into existence in 1967

In its history till now, BJP has won Kundarki assembly seat only once in the year 1993. Since then only SP and BSP are in control. Kundarki seat came into existence in 1967. Assembly elections have been held 15 times since then. In 1993, Chandra Vijay Singh contested a by-election on a BJP ticket and won. He has become the only BJP MLA from this seat. Chandra Vijay remained an MLA for only 18 months. Kundarki seat is mostly won by Muslims, as this seat has about 65 percent Muslim voters. In such a situation, BJP can play the gamble of fielding a Muslim face in Kundarki by-election.

Kunwar Basit Ali, State President of BJP Minority Front while talking to TV-9 Digital said that Kundarki assembly seat is completely Muslim dominated. In such a situation, we are preparing to fight by-elections. We will work on seeking tickets from the party but it is up to the top leadership to decide who will be given tickets and who will not. In BJP, tickets are not given on the basis of caste and religion, but the party takes decisions based on the probability of victory. In such a situation, the party feels that if we contest and win the Kundaraki seat, it is possible to give us a ticket.

This could be a big and far-reaching step by BJP.

The BJP has handed over the responsibility of the Kundarki assembly seat to Yogi government ministers Dharampal Singh and JPS Rathore. Both the UP ministers will visit Kundarki on Thursday and hold a political brainstorming session on the by-election. It is believed that it could be a big and far-reaching step if the party’s top leadership makes a Muslim leader a candidate for the Kundaraki assembly seat. If we look at the electoral history of Uttar Pradesh, BJP is contesting elections by giving tickets to Muslim leaders.

In the 1998 Lok Sabha elections, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi contested and won on a BJP ticket from the Rampur Lok Sabha seat. In such a situation BJP again fielded Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in ​​1999 elections but he lost to Begum Noor Bano of Congress. In 2007, BJP fielded a Muslim candidate against CP Yadav in Sambhal. Since 2014, BJP has not given a ticket to any Muslim to the Lok Sabha, but has been making members of the Legislative Council. BJP still has three Muslim MLCs in UP. Danish Azad is a minister in the Yogi government. Earlier Mohsin Raza was minister from Muslim quota.

This seat is held by SP and BSP.

Although the BJP has not fielded a ticket to any Muslim in the 2022 assembly elections, its ally Apna Dal (S) has fielded Nawab Kazim Ali’s son Haider Ali as its candidate from Swar Tanda seat in Rampur. Hyder Ali lost the election to Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Azam, but then Apna Dal (S) again fielded Shafiq Ansari in the by-election. This time Shafiq was successful in winning the election. Shafiq is the only Muslim NDA MLA in UP.

Political analysts say that the BJP wants to contest the by-elections on 10 seats in UP, especially with a special strategy to counter the opposition, especially the SP-Congress alliance. For this, there may be a movement to field a Muslim face from the Kundarki assembly seat. The rationale behind this is that the Kundarki assembly seat has not been won by a BJP candidate for three decades. This seat is held only by SP and BSP.

65 percent Muslim and 35 percent Hindu voters

SP’s Ziaur Rehman contested from Kundarki seat in 2022 assembly elections. BJP fielded Kamal Kumar against him. SP managed to win this seat by 43 thousand 162 votes. Earlier, BJP had given ticket to Ramveer Singh in 2017 elections, but he too could not win. Ramveer has contested elections before, but could not win. Behind which is the political equation of the Kundaraki seat. There are 65 percent Muslim and 35 percent Hindu voters.

The biggest challenge for the BJP in the Kundarki seat has been the unity of Muslim votes. It is difficult for BJP to win this seat without infiltration of Muslim votes. The largest vote bank in the Muslim community here is from Turks. Next in rank are the Muslim Rajputs. There are about 70 thousand Muslim Turks and 40 thousand Muslim Rajputs. Former SP MLA Mohd. Rizwan is considered the main contender, who hails from the Turkish community. In such a situation, BJP may try to spoil the political equation of SP by fielding a Muslim Rajput.

The BJP is busy playing a new political chessboard with their support.

If the BJP bets on Basit Ali in the Kundarki Lok Sabha seat as a political experiment, he will be the first party leader to contest an assembly election in UP. Basit hails from the Muslim Rajput community. It is believed that if Basit Ali succeeds in wooing the Muslim Rajput votes, the SP’s political game here will deteriorate if the Hindu electorate remains united. Kundarki seat has Thakur, Saini and Dalit voters.

With their help BJP is busy laying a new political chessboard. If the BJP fields a Muslim candidate in Kundarki, it may also succeed in sending a political message to Moradabad, Rampur and Sambhal Lok Sabha seats in future. The reason behind this is that Kundarki seat shares the boundaries of these three Lok Sabha seats. SP has managed to win these three seats in 2024 elections. So it is believed that BJP may try to gamble on a Muslim candidate in the Kundarki by-election.

Nita Yadav

Nita Yadav

I am Nita Yadav, specializing in writing about politics and breaking national news. My focus is on delivering insightful and timely perspectives on these crucial topics, aiming to inform and engage my readers effectively.

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