BJP pools Muslim candidates to divide community vote sharetext_fields
In West Bengal, the BJP pooled nine Muslim candidates for this assembly election while already they are amplifying the religious polarisation among the population by naming Mamata Banerjee as 'Begum' and Trinamool Congress as Muslim party, and thus brewing anti-Muslim sentiments and religious communalism. The strategy is pretty clear considering 2019's poll statistics that Muslims didn't receive BJP candidature in constituencies where BJP already has a lead.
BJP had put up a Muslim candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha election to divide the Muslim vote share. Though the candidate was Muslim, the BJP had ensured Hindu votes through their propaganda and chiselled out a fair share of Muslim votes too.
Now they are repeating the tactic but in nine constituencies. BJP pooled 5 out of the nine Muslim candidates in the Murshidabad district, where Muslims have a two-thirds majority. In Malda and Uttar Dinajpur, where Muslims are around 50 per cent of the population, two Muslim candidates each were placed in those two districts. Those two are the most backward districts in the whole country although the Communists ruled the state for three decades. The ones who switched sides in Malda and Murshidabad to the BJP were CPM's top leaders.
Abdul Wadood says that there is a probability that those who win as Trinamool's MLA would join BJP. While Trinamool is anxious about its leaders who believe in Hindutva, while Congress and the Left are eyeing to reap benefit from it as a favourable wind. It was CPM's leaders who switched sides to BJP in Malda and Murshidabad. Wadood mentioned Khagen Murmu, a tribal-communist leader who was MP of BJP from North Malda, for four decades, before joining BJP.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP pooled Mafuja Khatun in Jangipur, their first-ever Muslim candidate in West Bengal. Among the Muslim candidates contested for BJP in the country, she garnered the most attention from the public as the only Muslim candidate for the party in West Bengal. Mafuja Khatun was a member of SFI and had led the organisation with her fiery speeches earlier. She became a CPM MLA in 2001 and 2006 from Kumarganj but lost in the 2011 Mamata wave. To everyone's astonishment, she joined BJP in 2017.