MCD results: All five of BJP’s Muslim candidates lose despite ‘saffron wave’ in Delhi
MCD polls: They opposed cow slaughter and triple talaq, and supported anti-Romeo squads. But five Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP lost in Muslim-dominated areas even as BJP won big.MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 26, 2017 17:36 IST
The BJP may have won the Delhi municipal elections but its five Muslim candidates lost in their respective wards — all areas dominated by Muslims. While the party did not have a single Muslim face in the assembly elections held in March across five states, they fielded six Muslim candidates in Delhi.
Out of the six candidates, only five contested the polls because one contestant’s nomination was cancelled by the Election Commission.
In Quresh Nagar, the BJP gave ticket to Rubina, 52, daughter of a sitting councillor Hoor Bano.
Other candidates, who lost are Kunwar Rafi from Zakir Nagar, Sartaj Ahmed from Chauhan Banger, Sabra Malik from Mustafabad, and Faimuddin Saifi from Delhi Gate. All five lost to Muslim contestants.
Kunwar lost to Shoaib Danish, who won the Zakir Nagar ward for the third time. A volunteer who was with Danish at the polling booth on Wednesday said, “The BJP fielded a Muslim but we knew that he would lose. Danish won because of his work.”
In their interviews to HT before the election, the six BJP candidates had spoken against triple talaq and supported the Uttar Pradesh government’s action again ‘illegal slaughter houses’. Yusuf Malik, whose wife Sabra contested from Mustafabad, told HT that it was too early to comment on the reason for the defeat.
Here’s a detailed look at the contestants who lost
Rubina Begum,52, Ward: Quresh Nagar
Rubina Begum was the only exception to the party’s pre-poll claim of not fielding relatives of sitting candidates. The BJP had claimed that tickets would not be given to the relatives of the present councillors. Though there were some candidates related to BJP leaders, Begum fought in place of her mother.
She is the daughter of Hoor Bano, BJP’s sitting councillor in ward 89 N Quresh Nagar. Begum family’s said her father was a supporter when BJP founders were still a part of the Janta party. “Begum’s father was Delhi metropolitan council member (equivalent to an MLA today) when Delhi was not a state. Before her mother, her brother Ismail was a councillor in 2007-12. We are hardworking grass-root party workers and have got the ticket. The family’s good work is the reason for the exception,” said her relative Haroon Ismail.
Kunwar Rafi,37, Ward: Zakir Nagar
Rafi, who runs a computer shop at Nehru Place, is associated with the BJP for the past 10 years. Rafi, who has studied up to Class 12, plans to induct his other Muslim friends into the party. “The country is doing well under the BJP rule. There is no corruption, no riots. Why shouldn’t we too be part of our country’s growth?” he had asked.
Rafi had claimed that he helped the local residents during the last year’s outbreak of dengue and chikungunya and it will now help him win their support.
Fahimuddin Saifi,30, Ward: Delhi Gate
Saifi was the youngest among the five Muslim BJP candidates. Saifi claimed he has been a party worker since July 2011.
Saifi, runs a steel business, and said he supported the anti-romeo squads in UP. “I am a businessman and have been inspired by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Modiji, when he was still a chief minister. I joined the BJP when I realized that in all these years, Muslims have only gotten poorer. Most parties only exploited Muslims for votes.”
Sartaj Ahmed, 43, Ward: Chauhan Bangar
Ahmed, who runs a metal box manufacturing firm, had joined the BJP in April 2006. Ahmed held many posts in the local unit of the party. This was his first election.
Ahmed said people in his area know him for his round-the-clock work in helping residents get ration cards, solve power problems. Ahmed has never met Modi or BJP president Amit Shah but says the fact that he has got a ticket has only strengthened his resolve to work for the party.
Sabra Malik, 42, Ward: Mustafabad
A woman who till recently helped her husband dismantle scrap outside their home, Sabra Malik, a mother of five, took a break from work to campaign. The lone Muslim woman in the BJP list contested from the Mustafabad ward in northeast Delhi. Malik said her family has been a supporter of BJP for the past 17 years.