Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Uttar Pradesh unit to analyse how the Muslim Dalit community, commonly known as Pasmandas, is impacted by the government’s policies, and work that can be done to increasingly uplift their lives and reach out to them. The PM’s suggestion came during a presentation by UP BJP Chief Swatantra Dev Singh at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meet in Hyderabad.
Dev was briefing those present on how the saffron party had won Azamgarh, a seat known for its Muslim-Yadav combination. It is then that the Prime Minister interjected, asking the party leadership to explore more social equations and reach out to Dalit Muslims in the state.
The Uttar Pradesh government has one Muslim Minister - Danish Ansari - and he hails from this community.
According to sources, Modi said there have been many explorations into vote bank politics with caste Dalits, Thakurs and Yadavs by every political party, and that it could not have been thought a few years ago that the BJP would win Azamgarh - and yet it did.
“Now we have to experiment more with different social equations and work on them. The eight years of development work for upliftment of the minorities and marginalised sections. We need to see how development dividend are impacting our beneficiaries,” the PM reportedly said in the gathering.
Modi also laid focus on analysing the present information and looking at the community scientifically by developing more data. “It was surprising for us that PM asked the unit to work with Dalit Muslims. However, he is right when he says we should also work among those who have not been with us electorally and find more social equations,” said the source.
The trend witnessed in the 2022 assembly elections showed that the majority of the community’s vote went to the Samajwadi Party. This is despite the fact they are the biggest majority of the central government’s beneficiary schemes. “It’s a herculean task for the BJP leaders to go between them as environment is not that conducive right now. But to open their eyes and uplift their lives, it is important to reach out and slowly make inroads in the community,” added the source.
According to former UP Minister and minority face of the party Mohsin Raza, Pasmanda Muslims are Dalits and OBC Muslims, comprising 75 to 80 per cent of the Muslim community. Syeds, Sheikhs, Pathans are upper caste Muslims whereas Alvi and Sainis, tailors, carpenters and bunkars are Pasmanda Muslims.
“We are trying to tell the Pasmanda community that the BJP is open for them and is committed to uplifting their lives. They do not think too liberally and are under the influence of religious leaders,” said Raza.
The states which had won assembly or local elections gave their brief report cards in the meeting.
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