As the Gujarat elections draw close, there are a lot of speculations whether Bhartiya Janata Party will field Muslim candidates. Raising a banner of protest against the BJP, Patidars, OBCs and Dalits are moving away from the party. Now, there are chances that the BJP may woo minorities by giving tickets to Muslim candidates.
In the year 2011, then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi had initiated "Sadbhavna Mission" to woo minorities in the state. The Muslims took part in great numbers in that mission.
However, the mission flopped in very next year when Bhartiya Janata Party had not given a single ticket to any Muslim candidate in the 2012 elections.
Now, after 5 years, few Muslims are in the quest of that original mission. Few minority front BJP leaders have demanded many seats in the upcoming Gujarat elections.
Muslim leaders have demanded seats in Jamalpur-Khadia, Vejalpur, Vagra, Wankaner, Bhuj and Abdasa.
But, if we see the history, BJP have yet not fielded any Muslim candidate in any of the assembly elections. However, there is strong chances that BJP will field Muslim candidate in the upcoming polls.
According to the 2001 Census of India, the Gujarati Muslim population was 4,592,854, which is 9.064% of the total population of the state.
The chief of minority front in Gujarat Mehboob Ali Chisti said that almost 350 Muslims had won in local body elections happened in 2015 and they hold strong chances to win in the upcoming assembly elections as well.
Chisti said that the final call lies in the hands of parliamentary board and he feels that if Muslim candidates are fielded on these seats then they can come out victorious.
On the other hand, Congress leader Shahnawaz Khan said that there is difference in what BJP says and what it does. He added that if they want development for all then they will welcome that step.
There is a lot of activity in political circles in Gujarat these days and caste equations are also coming to the fore.
But, it is yet to be seen that whether BJP will go against their culture especially when no seats were given to minority candidates when he was leading Gujarat.