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Only one Muslim candidate in Gujarat

Winnability and not his community is the deciding factor for political parties in Gujarat when it comes to choosing a candidate - particularly Muslims - for the Lok Sabha polls.
PTI | By Press Trust of India
PUBLISHED ON APR 04, 2004 02:16 PM IST

Winnability and not his community is the deciding factor for political parties in Gujarat when it comes to choosing a candidate - particularly Muslims - for the Lok Sabha polls.

After the late Ehsaan Jafri won in 1977 Lok Sabha elections, there has not been a single Muslim MP from Gujarat and the number of Muslim candidates getting tickets from any party or contesting as independents has declined sharply since the last two parliamentary elections.

The Congress nominated two-time MLA Mohammed Fansiwala from Bharuch constituency after much "contemplation and cribbing" from various quarters, that has around 2.5 lakh Muslim voters.

Though the BJP had "considered" the name of newly- inducted party member Arif Mohammed Khan from the same Parliamentary constituency, it decided not to field him as the saffron party firmly believes that "candidate should be chosen on the basis of his capability (to win) and not his community."

"The BJP has never fielded a candidate owing to his communal background. The candidate's capability, experience, winnability and focus on development of his region and the party image has been the sole criteria," a senior state BJP leader said.

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