Tripti Nath/New Delhi
Danish Azad Ansari, Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Minority Welfare, has attributed the party’s extraordinary performance in civic polls to BJP’s outreach of Muslim Pasmanda community.
In an exclusive telephonic interview to Awaz The Voice, Ansari, the only Muslim face in Yogi Adityanath's second term cabinet, said that the decision of the top leadership of the party, in particular Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to reach out to the Pasmanda community has yielded extraordinary results. The Pasmanda community comprises at least 80 to 85 per cent of the total Muslim community and their vote really counts. He acknowledged that the Pasmamda community has benefitted from the social welfare programmes at the ground level such as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and the Ration Yojana
“The Muslim community has now decided that it does not want to be used as a mere vote bank. Their decision to associate with the Bharatiya Janata Party indicates that they believe in development,’’ said Ansari who holds the portfolio of minority welfare, Muslin Waqf and Haj.
The 35 year old Minister who comes from a humble background, said that he is happy that pasmanda Muslims have come out in large numbers to vote for the community. He said that the turnout of the Pasmanda community in the elections contributed to the victory of Muslim candidates from a large number of seats. The voting percentage has also gone up.
The party this time had fielded an unprecedented 20 Muslim candidates for the post of Chairman and 300 for the post of Councillors. The results have been very encouraging.
More than 50 per cent of the candidates were from Pasmanda community. In the seats where Muslim candidates could not win, they have been on the second position. More than 30 per cent tickets were given to Muslim women.
The minister said that two months ago, he participated in detailed discussions with U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, party general secretary Dharampal Saini, and state party president Bhupendra Singh to identify suitable candidates. It ws then that a decision was taken to field Muslim candidates in the civic polls.
Ansari said that he is thankful to the BJP top leadership for fielding so many Muslim candidates.
He said the Minority Affairs Ministry had also taken several steps to reach out to the community. This included introduction of science and modern education in madarsas, holding employment fairs especially for Muslim youth in many places across U.P. and fulfilling the demand of weavers for a flat electricity bill of Rs 400. This will benefit weavers in Azamgarh, Benaras, Bijnor, Gorakhpur, Moradabad and many other places. Ansari also takes pride in introducing sports, NCC and NSS for physical empowerment of Madarsa students. All these initiatives have increased the faith of the Muslim community in the BJP leadership.
BJP State Media co-head, Himanshu Dubey told Awaz The Voice that the victory has been extraordinary. He acknowledged the significant contribution of the Muslim community in the BJP's sterling performance in the civic polls.