Mudda debates why BJP gave no ticket to community in UP, also ponders shrinking of manufacturing sales

After talking tall about being impartial to people belonging to all faiths, the BJP yet again failed to prove it when it came to action and policy. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, it has not given a single ticket to Muslims. Batting for the BJP, Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar said the reason behind this move was that the community never voted for the party. However, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP leader Uma Bharti both said the BJP has made a mistake by not giving tickets to Muslims. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, meanwhile, equivocated, saying that not giving tickets to them does not imply that “Muslim vikaas” is not on the saffron agenda.

Tuesday’s edition of Mudda, APN’s daily current affairs show, flagged the issue. Moderated by Anant Tyagi, participants included UP minister Jagdev Singh Yadav, Congressman Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson Chandramohan, All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qazmi, economist Subhro Kamal Dutta and APN consulting editor Govind Pant Raju.

Jagdev Singh Yadav said: “The Samajwadi Party does not believe in equality of religion, caste and creed. We do not talk about welfare of people from a particular religion only.  We want inclusive development—of farmers, labourers, women and youth. What we have done, we have done across the religious spectrum. Ram Mandir is old hat. While others play vote bank politics, we talk development.”

Shehzad Poonawalla accused the BJP of favouring Hindus over Muslims. He said: “In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, too, the BJP did not give a single ticket to Muslims. It is also a fact that during Diwali, electricity supply is increased in certain areas which is not the case during Eid. If you have the same respect for Muslims then prove it by removing Sakshi Maharaj who spreads anti-Muslim sentiments. You talk of Muslim welfare only during elections.  Once you come to power, you forget about it.”

BJP’s Chandramohan denied the statement of Uma Bharti. “There is a specific procedure to appoint people. We give tickets to only those whose names come to us,” he said.

This was followed by a confrontation between Chandramohan and Shehzad. After some moments of chaos, the anchor got the show back on track.

Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qazmi said: “It is shameful how politics has now become reduced to Hindu and Muslim megawatts. Both the Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin. Their main agenda is to start riots so that one gets the votes of the Hindus and the other the votes of the Muslims. No one has our welfare at heart.”

Govind Pant Raju criticized the way party spokespersons were showering each other with allegations of being communal. He said: “India is a country where people of different faiths reside together peacefully. We have never supported hatred for any religion… If Akhilesh Yadav is accusing his rival of being unduly biased he should talk about how much employment has been given to Muslims, what educational resources have been given to them and how much development has been done for their welfare during his tenure.”

The second half of the Mudda discussed how Modi’s ‘Make in India’ dreams took a hit with a sharp dip in manufacturing sales. RBI data showed that sales of manufacturing shrunk from a growth rate of 12.9% in 2009-10 to 3.7% in 2015-16—the first decline in seven years.

Economist Subhro Kamal Dutta said: “Demonetistaion did affect the economy heavily… But both the BJP and the Congress are responsible for this downfall. According to National Employment Exchange data, during 10 years of UPA rule, only five lakh jobs had been created while during 2.5 years of BJP rule only 2-2.5 lakh jobs have been created.”

Chandramohan blamed Modi sarkar for zero private investment, no ease of doing business and decreased FDI in the country. Predictably, Jagdev defended his party, saying Akhilesh Yadav had invited investors and businessmen to the state.

Compiled by Usha Rani Das