AIMIM prevents BJP from returning to power in Gujarat’s 2002 epicentre Godhra
- The BJP won 18 seats in the 44-member Godhra Municipality, yet it could not return to power since AIMIM decided to a back a group of 17 winning independents.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Wednesday prevented the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from returning to power in the municipality of Godhra, which was the epicentre of the 2002 Hindutva assertion in Gujarat, by supporting a battery of independent candidates to capture power, said AIMIM state president Sabir Kabliwala.
“Out of the seventeen independents, who are part of the 44 -strong board, five are non-Muslims. We were successful in stopping BJP from returning to power in Godhra municipality," Kabliwala said.
Despite the BJP winning 18 seats in the 44-member Godhra Municipality, it could not return to power as the AIMIM, with seven seats, threw its weight behind a group of 17 independents.
The AIMIM backed Sanjay Soni was elected as the president of Godhra Municipality. Soni contested as a BJP rebel along with five other rebels, who all won as independents. The rest of the winning independent candidates in the grouping are from the Muslim community.
Besides the BJP’s 18, an equal number of independents won the Godhra Municipality polls, held on February 28, with seven members of AIMIM and one from the Congress party. One of the 18 Independents, Sophiya Jamaal, abstained from voting.
While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) opened its account in Gujarat by becoming the main opposition party in the Surat Municipal Corporation, the AIMIM won seven seats in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in the elections held last month.
Similarly, nine of the 12 candidates of Asaduddin Owaisi’s party won in the Modasa Municipality polls in North Gujarat and seven of its eight candidates emerged victorious in Godhra Municipality.
59 train passengers, mostly Hindu devotees returning from Ayodhya, were burnt alive inside S-6 coach of Sabarmati express near Godhra station on February 27, 2002 in a conspiracy by Muslim miscreants. The incident triggered riots in the state, leading to deaths of hundreds of Muslims and also some Hindus.