BJP gave ticket to Yunus Khan four times from Didwana, from where he won in 2003 and 2013 and was also a cabinet minister in the Vasundhara Raje government. Not having got a ticket from BJP this time, Khan is contesting as an independent candidate from Didwana assembly seat.
By Raheem Khan
Nov. 13, 2023
Assembly elections are going to be held in Rajasthan on November 25. Congress has given tickets to Muslim candidates for 15 out of 200 Assembly seats in the State, whereas BJP hasn’t given ticket to even a single Muslim candidate. This is the first time that BJP hasn’t given ticket to any Muslim candidate in the state. Earlier, BJP fielded Muslim candidates and benefited therefrom. But now BJP has changed its policy and is avoiding giving tickets to Muslim candidates.
In the past, many Muslim candidates not only won on BJP tickets but also were named cabinet ministers in the Assembly. In the 2018 assembly elections, BJP gave ticket to only one Muslim candidate, Yunus Khan from Tonk to fight against Sachin Pilot instead of Khan’s traditional Didwana seat. Despite being in the electoral fray on a new seat, Yunus Khan emerged successful in getting 54861 votes there too. Since BJP fielded only one Muslim candidate, it could win only 4 out of 30 Muslim dominated seats in the State.
BJP gave ticket to Yunus Khan four times from Didwana, from where he won in 2003 and 2013 and was also a cabinet minister in the Vasundhara Raje government. BJP has won from Didwana only twice so far. Sagir Ahmed was an MLA from Dholpur by winning on BJP ticket in 2008 and was also named a Minister of State. In 2013, Habibur Rahman was elected MLA from Nagaur on BJP ticket.
In 2013, BJP gave tickets to 4 Muslim candidates – Yunus Khan from Didwana, Habibur Rahman from Nagaur, Salim Tanwar from Mandawa and Sagir Ahmed from Dholpur. Out of them, 2 candidates – Yunus Khan and Habibur Rahman won. By giving tickets to 4 Muslim candidates, BJP won 24 out of 30 Muslim dominated seats, winning a total of 163 seats in the State.
Earlier, Bikaner MLA Mehboob Ali was also a minister in the Bhairon Singh Shekhawat government from 1977 to 1980. Ramzan Khan was elected MLA from Pushkar thrice on BJP ticket and was also a minister in the Shekhawat cabinet.
Before the announcement of the ticket, BJP Minority Morcha was also demanding tickets on 15 assembly seats in Rajasthan Assembly elections to increase the participation of Muslims in the party. It is said that to find out the possibility of victory on 40 Muslim dominated seats in Rajasthan, a survey was conducted by BJP to ascertain Muslim contenders on 15 seats. These seats were said to be of Kaman, Hawamahal, Mandawa, Ladnun, Nagaur, Kishanpol, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Pokaran, Adarshnagar, Kota North, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Didwana and Dholpur.
The argument of BJP’s minority front was that if Muslim candidates are fielded on these seats, the party will benefit from it on 40 minority dominated seats.
State President of Rajasthan Minority Morcha Hameed Khan Mewati, former President Amin Pathan from Kaman, former President Majeed Malik Commando from Kota North, former President Sadiq Khan from Hawamahal, Mumtaz Bhati from Bikaner East, former Minister Yunus Khan from Didwana, former Madrasa Board chairperson Mehrunnisha Tank from Sikar, Hidayat Khan Dholiya from Ladnun, Mushif Ali Khan from Pushkar and many other leaders had staked claim for the tickets. Not having got a ticket from BJP this time, former minister Yunus Khan is contesting as an independent candidate from Didwana assembly seat.
Experts of state politics say that whenever BJP has given tickets to Muslim candidates, Muslims have voted for BJP. But in view of the current political situation in the State, where hardline Hindutva politics is being promoted, BJP has not given ticket to any Muslim candidate this time, due to which the party may have to bear the consequences in the assembly elections.