Guwahati: Eyeing the critical Muslim vote-bank ahead of the upcoming polls in Assam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to field Muslim candidates in the upcoming elections.
Announcing the names of its candidates, the BJP ensured that the minorities got an opportunity to contest the polls, which is crucial to the party as it seeks to regain power in the region.
Addressing the media in Guwahati, Ranjit Dutta, BJP president (Assam), said it was the first time Muslim candidates were being given tickets by a party to contest the polls despite their strong presence in the region.
“The Congress has never fielded any Assamese Muslim candidate in the state polls from Upper Assam. There are many Assamese Muslims residing here. Still, the Congress has done nothing for them. However, the BJP will give an opportunity to a Muslim candidate here to contest in the polls,” he said.
After losing in the 2009 polls, the BJP is now seeking to regain its political glory by focusing on issue-based politics and reaching out to the minorities.
Dutta said: “In the next list which will be declared by the BJP state unit on the March 10, several Muslim candidates will be given a chance. There is one Muslim for the Upper Assam seat in this list. There would be many more minority candidates in our next list, especially for the Lower Assam seats.”
Meanwhile, the candidates who failed to get a ticket vented their anger by protesting outside the BJP office in Guwahati. Several protestors ransacked the office and also destroyed property.
Assam will hold a two-phase election for the 126-member State Assembly. While 62 constituencies will poll on April 04, the remaining 64 constituencies will vote on April 11.