Lucknow, March 1: For the past five years, the minority cell of the BJP worked overtime to establish close contact with Muslim voters, but when it came to giving tickets to them in the UP Assembly polls, it was a different story.
The minority cell of the UP BJP had undertaken membership drives and also made efforts to reach out to a large section of the Muslim voters with an eye on the elections. Though firebrand BJP MP Vinay Katiyar believes there is no point in giving tickets to Muslims, other like Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, feel that the party could have given tickets to the community.
Union Minister Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti had on Monday echoed Home Minister Rajnath Singh's stand on BJP fielding Muslim candidates in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Bharti feels that the BJP committed a mistake by not fielding any Muslim candidate.
"I am really feeling sorry that we could not field a Muslim. I spoke with (BJP President) Amit Shah and (state party President) Keshav Prasad Maurya about how we could have brought a Muslim to the assembly," she has said.
Rajnath had earlier said that Muslims should have been given tickets by the BJP in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Naqvi, while reacting to the issue, had said, "As far as tickets are concerned, it would have been better if the tickets were given to Muslims. We will address their (Muslim party workers) concerns by compensating them when we form the government in the state."