Other States

M.P. BJP minority cell workers quit over CAA

‘What’s the point of staying in the party now when the community doesn’t want to support it’

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

“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 BJP minority cell general secretary of Indore. “Then came the CAA, but now we must speak out.”

Quitting the party after 15 years, Mr. Khan, 42, said, “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 over a series of contentious decisions taken by the BJP government at the Centre, he said, the CAA had turned the efforts futile. “What’s the point of staying in the party now when the community doesn’t want to support it at any cost due to the CAA?” he said.

Terming the party’s awareness drive across the country over the law a “complete failure”, he claimed securing support for the law, already passed in Parliament, through missed calls was a farce.

“The party is fooling people into giving them missed calls by promising free access to online streaming platforms if they did and by claiming certain lost phones will be found if the numbers were dialled,” he alleged.

When the law was passed last month, those who had resigned from the party 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 the Muslims won’t be affected. But what about other leaders giving assurances in their areas?” said Mr. Khan.

Stating that the cell remained unaffected in Indore, its State vice-president Nasir Shah claimed, “Except for Mr. Khan, the rest 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. Well, some people want to show false numbers or cultivate an image for themselves.”

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 will cost the BJP dear in the upcoming panchayat election in the State. It took years for the party to win the trust of Muslims in Madhya Pradesh.”

‘Suspected as informers’

“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 quit the party in Khargone district, its State secretary Akram Khan had also put in his papers.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:16:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mp-bjp-minority-cell-workers-quit-over-caa/article30646753.ece

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