NEW DELHI: In a major outreach to the Muslim community, the BJP on Friday held a meeting of several Pasmanda (backward) leaders in the capital. The meeting ‘Pasmanda Muslim Sneh Samman Samroh’ was in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for his party cadres to reach out to the deprived sections among the minority communities, such as Pasmanda Muslims.
The effort was clearly to highlight Uttar Pradesh, which has the first Pasmanda Muslim minister, Danish Azad Ansari, in the state cabinet and a few community members at the organizational level.
The Delhi meeting is seen as a part of the ongoing outreach plans for the backward sections ahead of the 2024 general election.
Sources said the party has taken cognizance of the support extended by the backward Muslim community to the BJP in the recent by-elections and assembly polls, which played a crucial role in its victory.
The socially and economically backward Pasmanda Muslims account for nearly 80% of the Muslims in the country. The BJP also highlights the fact that Muslim leaders in various parties come from the upper caste Ashrafs that comprise the Syeds, Mughals, and Pathans.
BJP spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan told TNIE that in the coming years, the party would cultivate leaders from the Pasmanda community in leadership roles, though it already has substantial representation at the organization and government levels. He pointed out that in UP, the chairpersons of the state minority commission and madrasa board belong to the Pasmanda community.
“The BJP’s victory in the Lok Sabha by-polls in Azamgarh and Rampur illustrates that the backward Muslim community has reposed faith in us and the welfare programmes of the government,’ said Paswan.
Analysts point out that Pasmanda Muslims, who are being historically neglected by all ruling dispensations, will grab the opportunity for their uplift.
However, Ali Anwar Ansari, former Rajya Sabha MP and head of All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (AIPMM), doesn’t agree. He said the PM’s outreach to the backward Muslims is only posturing as it lacks sincerity. “On one hand, the BJP makes false promises and on the other, it is attacking the backward Muslims in the name of mob lynching, love jihad, and so on. The PM once said that Muslims could be identified from their clothes. It is sheer hypocrisy,” said Ansari.
Tricolour plan for Muslim households, madrasas
LUCKNOW: The BJP in Uttar Pradesh has pressed its Muslim Morcha into service for hoisting Tricolour in around 5 lakh Muslim households, madrasas and dargahs (shrines) on August 15. The BJP Muslim Morcha will undertake the three-day exercise starting from August 12. It has been asked to get the photos of the unfurling of the flag clicked and uploaded on social media.