Gujarat polls: BJP fields no Muslim candidate

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Ahmedabad, Nov 29: The BJP has not fielded any Muslim candidate in the Gujarat assembly elections scheduled next month. According to some quarter, the party took the decision so that the new rival, Keshubhai Patel's GPP, did not get an early advantage. The GPP has not fielded a Muslim candidate either.

Sources in the GPP, which has announced candidates only for the first phase scheduled for Dec 13 and remained non-committal about the second, said the party did not take any firm stand against fielding Muslim candidates and was looking for suitable candidates.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which did not include any Muslim in the first list, announced the second list on Wednesday, with only five seats remaining. The state BJP, while explaining its decision to omit Muslims, said the party did not believe in the politics of appeasement. It added that 75 per cent of the sitting MLAs were fielded again this time while long-serving party workers were nominated for the remaining seats, hence leaving little option to accommodate Muslims.

A local rights activist said the BJP's decision was expected for if Modi decided to field a Muslim from any seat, it would have alienated hardcore VHP and RSS supporters and hence would have played in favour of the GPP.

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