UP assembly polls: BJP leaders divided on Muslim candidates

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Is the BJP a divided house when it comes to giving tickets to Muslim candidates in Uttar Pradesh? If statements of Union Minister Uma Bharati and BJP MP Vinay Katiyar are anything to go by then it very well may be.

Uma Bharti

Bharati on Monday said that the BJP should have had more Muslim faces in Uttar Pradesh. Responding to a question on why the BJP failed to give a single ticket to a Muslim candidate for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, Uma Bharati accepted that the party should have had more Muslim candidates.

Parties Phase 5 results 2012
Samajwadi Party 37
BJP 05
Congress 05
BSP 03
Peace Party 02

"Yes, we should have had more Muslim faces in UP, and this is something that Union Home minister Rajnath Singh has reiterated that we wanted to give more seats to women in Uttar Pradesh this time around." Bharati made this statement during an interview on the day fifth phase polling was held in the state.

Not all leaders from the BJP, however, feel the same. BJP MP and founder-president of the Bajrang Dal, minced no words in claiming that no Muslim would win in Ayodhya. "Party gives tickets to win seats. Take Ayodhya for example, they (Muslim candidates) won't win here," he said, countering Bharati's statement on party requiring more Muslim leaders. Katiyar also spoke of the ram temple and said that development was meaningless in the constituency without the construction of the temple.

"Development, employment, education has been provided here but everything is meaningless without the ram temple," he said in an interview in Ayodhya.

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