Bhopal: The saffron party in Madhya Pradesh is treading the careful path in the poll-bound state as their party’s only Muslim candidate Fatima Rasool Siddiqui seems promising one to help them come to power.
BJP’s decision of choosing Siddiqui (35) from one of the strongest Muslim presence constituency (Bhopal) could indeed prove to be right.
Fatima joined the party a day before filing nomination from the constituency represented by Arif Aqueel of Congress since 1998.
Most people were clueless of who this lady is but later it was known she is the daughter of Rasool Ahmad Siddiqui, former minister during the Congress regime in the state.
Siddiqui’s father was a Congress leader and his daughter is now seeking votes in the name of her father but this time for BJP.
“I know how much my father was loved for his work, like providing 7,500 government jobs. There is no Hindu-Muslim issue here,’’ she said while addressing crowd in Kazi Camp locality.
She also accused Aqueel of attacking her house in 1993. “A stone missed my mother by inches,” she claimed.
However, Aqueel denied the allegations leveled by Fatima. He asked: “Will a doctor’s son be allowed to give medicines without a degree or a lawyer’s son to argue without qualification?’’ He also added, “even if the entire government were to contest, it would lose here”.
Aqueel, on the other hand, is favoured by the poor he says since he is always available at their service, Indian express reports.
“Aqueel would win even if Shivraj Singh Chouhan contested from here,’’ asserted Rafique Qureshi, a dairy owner.
“Most people here are small vendors and are not bothered about development in the way others relate to it. If they can earn daily, they are happy. When the need arises, Aqueel supports them,’’ explains a retired government official S A Khan.
Contrary to people living in the region BJP camps claims Aqueel is “one of the dirtiest” in the state and that Ms. Siddiqui is getting a lot of support from women.
“She talks about triple talaq only before women in closed rooms and not in public because it may backfire,’’ said one of her campaign managers.
“Let them talk about triple talaq and BJP will lose by a bigger margin,’’ said Aqueel.
“Aqueel wins because Muslims vote in large numbers, unlike Hindus,’’ said another BJP leader Pankaj Chourasia.