Shahnawaz urges Muslims to have faith in Modi

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Patna, Apr 2 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain on Tuesday downplayed Muslims getting less than adequate representation in tickets distributed by the party for Lok Sabha polls.


Addressing a press conference here, the former Union minister urged the minority community to have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's motto of "sabka saath sabka vikas".

"Having more Muslims in Parliament is no guarantee of their welfare. Perhaps Muslims had the highest representation in Lok Sabha and the Union cabinet when P V Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. And it was during that very time that Babri Masjid got razed," said Hussain.

He also pointed out that the party has given a ticket to a Muslim academician from Calicut in Kerala and is likely to field another member of the community in Lakshadweep.


Asked about Bihar, he said, "There is a Muslim candidate of the NDA, whom the BJP will support. As regards our party, we are contesting only 17 seats. We simply could not give representation to every caste and religion".

Notably, Hussain had himself made his Lok Sabha debut in the 1990s from Kishanganj in the state, becoming the only BJP candidate to have won the Muslim-majority seat.

The constituency has now gone to ally JD(U), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. JD(U) candidate Mujahid Alam filed nomination papers the day before.


To a pointed query about Muslims' representation being less than proportionate in BJP in particular and NDA in general, he shot back stating, "this is not a ration shop where you can fix quotas".

Hussain also frowned upon disgruntled MPs, who have been denied tickets this time, venting spleen against the party. The reference was to Ajay Nishad of Muzaffarpur, who has joined Congress, and Chhedi Paswan of Sasaram, who is likely to jump ship.

Hussain, who at present is not a member of either House of Parliament or state legislature, said, "I cannot say that the party has done injustice to me. I have been an MP six times. I was the youngest minister in the Union cabinet, a record that remains unbroken. Later, I got a chance to serve in the state cabinet and become a member of the state council of ministers".

He added, "Even now, the party has given me the opportunity to address the media as a national spokesman. The party gives so much to all. It is highly deplorable to engage in a tirade against the party just because it helped you enjoy two terms in Parliament but chose to give opportunity to someone else this time". PTI ANW NAC BDC