Throwing a unique challenge to Congress the BJP has pitted its first Muslim woman candidate against former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Avijit in Jangipur constituency which has been a Congress bastion. The seat, previously held by Pranab Mukherjee, is now held by his son Avijit, for two terms.
The Quint has quoted Avijit as saying, “this is my fourth election in six-and-a-half years. I don’t think anybody in India has fought three elections – two Lok Sabha and one Assembly – in three-and-a-half years. All three I could win. But the first win was really handsome and the rest two marginal. It is tough and a lot of patience is required.” He added, “The BJP was always there. Last time they got less than 1 lakh votes. The BJP is a cadre-based party. Whether it is Muslim or Hindu doesn’t matter. They’ll vote for their own cadre. Whether it is male or female doesn’t matter. People who are voting for the Congress will vote for the hand symbol. It’s like that.”
Mahfuza Khatun is the first-ever female Muslim candidate to be fielded by the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. She is a former CPI(M) leader but switched to BJP due to “Narendra Modi’s vision’’, according to her. The report quoted her as saying, “Narendra Modi has one slogan, Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. I joined BJP because of that slogan. Modi ji never said anything about Hindus or Muslims. He doesn’t differentiate on religious grounds.”
Showing confidence that she will win the elections, Mahfuza says “Jangipur or Dinajpur. There’s a PUR in both!,” she laughs. “You’ve seen that my videos have gone viral on social media. Not just in Murshidabad but all over India and the world, crossing 2 crore viewers. Such a person can’t be limited to one area. Those who don’t know me even now will know me through my campaign. I will reach out to everyone.”