BJP plays down reports of not having prominent Muslim faces in Gujarat campaign
New Delhi: Playing down reports of BJP not fielding any Muslim face or leader from Bihar for campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat, the party on Thursday said all its party leaders will campaign in the state.
"Let me assure you that every leader from BJP who would go over to Gujarat will certainly be going over to campaign...We are certainly having most leaders campaign in Gujarat," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
In its list of star campaigners for Gujarat elections provided to the Election Commission, BJP has neither listed any of its prominent Muslim faces nor any leader from Bihar where it shares power with ally JD-U.
She said the first open invitation to all BJP leaders came from Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi himself who had during the CM`s conclave and then again at the BJP national executive meeting at Surajkund, Haryana, invited everyone to campaign.
"If there is any misgiving about it, then please remove it. We are certainly having most leaders go from here (to campaign in Gujarat)," she said.
Clarifying on the names of Muslim leaders and those from Bihar missing from the list of star campaigners, she said "there would be some classification of some kind...For use of helicopters. We can find out more about it. But every leader will go there."
The party, which has often fielded its Muslim leaders like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain to speak on behalf of the party on issues involving minorities, has decided not to field them as campaigners in Gujarat despite a sizeable Muslim population in the state.
BJP`s campaign in Gujarat, where Chief Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a fourth consecutive term, will now be in the hands of senior leaders L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, besides Modi himself.