Other States

67 BJP minority cell workers in Indore quit over CAA, NRC

Muslim women along with children stage a protest against CAA and NRC near Ghantaghar in old city area of Lucknow./ Photo for representation

Muslim women along with children stage a protest against CAA and NRC near Ghantaghar in old city area of Lucknow./ Photo for representation   | Photo Credit: PTI

These leaders, who dubbed the CAA “a divisive provision made on religious grounds”, include several office- bearers of the BJP’s minority cell.

“The NRC will spread nothing but anarchy,” said Waseem Khan, who has quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Indore along with 66 others over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizenship (NRC).

“When they made triple talaq a punishable offence, we didn’t speak out. Then they diluted Article 370 of the Constitution, we didn’t speak out. Then came the Babri mosque verdict, and we thought it would be the end of the Hindu-Muslim divide,” said Mr. Khan, former Indore BJP minority cell general secretary. “Then came the CAA, but now we must speak out.”

Mr. Khan, 42, has quit the party after 15 years. “The BJP doesn’t care whether Muslims stay or leave it. Has it ever cared for minorities anyway?”

After managing to win the trust of Muslims despite a series of contentious decisions taken by the BJP government at the Centre, he said the CAA had made the efforts futile. “What’s the point of staying in the party now when the community doesn’t want to support it?” he said.

Terming the party’s awareness drive across the country a “complete failure,” he claimed that securing support for the law through missed calls was a farce. “The party is fooling people into giving them missed calls by promising free access to online streaming platforms and claiming certain lost phones will be found if the numbers are dialled,” he alleged.

When Parliament passed the law last month, those who had resigned now had approached the local unit of the party flagging the divisive potential of the proposed nationwide NRC. “Party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had assured us that Muslims won’t be affected. But what about other leaders giving assurances in their areas?” said Mr. Khan.

BJP State vice-president Nasir Shah, however, claimed that the cell remained unaffected in Indore. “Except for Mr. Khan, the others were neither post holders nor members of the party. I have been Indore district minority cell in-charge in the past and know each member.”

Stating that he’d stick with the party until death, Mr. Shah, member for 25 years now, said, “The nationwide NRC is not here and the CAA will not take away anyone’s citizenship. Some people are being misled. Moreover, all Muslims are being made part of our awareness drive. Only those who’re confused stay away.”

Javed Baig, the cell’s former State media chief, who quit the party over the law along with 47 others in Bhopal on January 11, said this would cost the BJP dear in the coming panchayat election in the State. “It took years for the party to win the trust of Muslims in Madhya Pradesh.

“Earlier I was referred to as bhaisahab within the party, now party workers call me anti-national and a traitor. Dissenters say those who oppose the BJP are taken to be opposing the country’s interest. We are realising it now,” said Mr. Baig. “Besides, people within the community suspect us of being informers for the party, even though we have left it.”

So far, hundreds of cell workers have quit the party in Khargone, Guna, Burhanpur, Bhopal and Satna districts too. While 165 members had already quit the party in Khargone district, its State secretary Akram Khan has put in his papers.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:08:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/80-muslim-leaders-resign-from-madhya-pradesh-bjp-over-caa/article30643507.ece

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