A total of 110 candidates belonging to the Muslim community won on the BJP ticket in recently-held local body polls in Gujarat, a party office-bearer said on Friday.
With the new entrants, the BJP’s Muslim representation in various local bodies now stands at 180, though the poll verdict in general is perceived as a setback to the saffron party.
A case in point is that of Sofia Zahid Dal who became the first Muslim candidate to win as a corporator in Rajkot city on BJP’s ticket.
“Our party has given the mandate to 335 Muslim candidates for this elections. Out of them, 110 have won on various seats. Highest number of our candidates won in the districts of Kutch (20) and Gir Somnath (11),” BJP’s minority cell president Sufi MK Chisty said in a statement.
Polls were held for six municipal corporations, 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities.
While Congress won 21 out of 31 district panchayats in rural areas and around 110 of the 230 taluka panchayats, the BJP retained its hold over urban pockets clinching all six municipal corporations and 40 of 56 municipalities.
“In the by-elections held across the state prior to this polls, 70 out of 125 of our Muslim candidates had won. Thus, the total strength of BJP’s Muslim councillors now stands at 180,” said Chisty.
Many Muslim candidates have won in municipalities, district and taluka panchayats. The BJP started fielding Muslim candidates in local body elections only in 2010 and some of them won.