Aiming to win Rampur for the first time in the upcoming bypoll scheduled for December 5, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a conference for Pasmanda Muslims in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly constituency on Saturday.
About 50% of the electorate in the Rampur Assembly constituency is Muslim. The by-poll for the Rampur seat was necessitated due to the disqualification of sitting MLA and the Samajwadi Party‘s Muslim face Azam Khan, who has been convicted in a hate speech case.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak said the lotus would bloom in Rampur and requested citizens to support the saffron party, especially as the double engine government of Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath was doing a lot of development work in Uttar Pradesh. “Everyone knows what the situation was before 2017 in U.P.; the criminal elements and mafia had hijacked police stations. We have brought rule of law in the State,” he said.
Referring to the SP’s vote bank, former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “MY (Modi-Yogi) factor, which is a symbol of inclusive empowerment, has replaced the previous ‘MY’ (Muslim-Yadav) factor, which was used by criminal and corrupt elements as their safety cover.” He added, “Modiji and Yogiji have defeated the deceit of appeasement politics”.
The BJP leaders believe that for winning the prestigious Rampur seat, which is one of the last citadels of the SP, it is necessary for the saffron party to get support of a section of the Muslim electorate. The party may field a Muslim leader.
BJP sources pointed out that in 2019, when a by-election was necessitated due to Mr. Azam Khan vacating the seat after getting elected to the Lok Sabha, the BJP polled more than 70,000 votes. The party lost the seat to Mr. Khan’s wife, Tazeen Alam, by less than 8,000 votes. The party could win if it could attract a section of the Muslim vote, a leader said. “We will need the support of the minority community to win and I am hopeful that we will get it,” Kunwar Basit Ali, minority morcha president of the State BJP unit, told The Hindu.
U.P. Ministers Danish Azad Ansari and Baldev Aulakh; State Minority Commission Chairman Ashfaq Saifi; BJP minority morcha national general secretary Sabir Ali and Rampur Lok Sabha member Ghanshyam Lodhi were present at the conference.