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Muslim cleric Maulana Tauqeer's kin joins BJP

Muslim cleric Maulana Tauqeers kin joins BJP

Lucknow: The Barelvi sect of Islam cleric Maulana Tauqeer Ahmed Raza Khan's brother's daughter-in-law Nida Khan joined BJP at Lucknow on Sunday. The development comes weeks after Maulana Tauqeer announced his support to Congress, The Indian Express reported. Nida joined the party in the presence of former state president and committee chief Laxmikant Bajpai.

Nida, a women's rights activist, became a victim of triple talaq, the instant divorce practice that was banned by a law passed by the parliament. Now she runs an organisation in Bareilly that provides legal aid to women who face similar divorces. She related the harsh experiences she met when she approached the police and tried to file a case against her divorce seven years before.

When she was asked why she joined the party, Nida said that the BJP supported her. Under the BJP regime, police stations' approach to women petitioners has changed and added that there are helpdesks at every police station for women. BJP will ensure women empowerment in a real sense, she said.

However, she further said that she would not compete in elections and had not discussed the same with the party. Meanwhile, some BJP leaders said that Nida's entry into the party could help it against the alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), and against the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the Western Uttar Pradesh, where Congress is also competing.

There are chances that BJP will take Nida to campaign in Muslim-majority seats, which will be heading to poll on the first phase, February 10.

The 403 seated UP goes to the polls in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. Vote counting will be on March 10.

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