The BJP has for the first time in the election history of Kerala, picked two Muslim women candidates to contest under their banner in the coming local body polls in Malappuram district.
This unprecedented entry of Muslim candidates as BJP nominees has been a shot in the arm for the party cadres in the Muslim-predominant Malappuram district, a citadel of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
Though several male candidates belonging to the Muslim community are in fray representing the saffron party in the civic elections, there are only two women candidates from the community contesting as its candidates with Lotus symbol in Malappuram.
While Wandoor-native T P Sulfath is contesting from ward 6 of Wandoor grama panchayat, Ayisha Hussain, a native of Chemmad is contesting in ward 9 of the Ponmudam grama panchayat. Both said they have their own reasons for becoming nominees of the BJP. Sulfath claimed to be impressed with the ‘progressive’ policies of the BJP government that she feels – has made the fortunes of the Muslim women in the country change for better, Ayisha Hussain has political affinity towards the BJP owing to her husband”s affiliation with it.
“The banning of triple talaq and raising the age for women for marriage from 18 to 21 were the two major policies that influenced me,” Sulfath claimed.
Ayisha Hussain has been attracted to the BJP through her husband Hussain, who is an active member of the Minority Morcha, an arm of the BJP. “I support Modiji and BJP for their bold policies for the welfare of the country,” said Ayisha. Her husband – Hussain Varikottil is also contesting under the BJP banner from the Edarikode division of the Malappuram district panchayat.
Though BJP has a weak base in the IUML bastion of Malappuram, the candidature of the two Muslim women would matter much to the saffron party, which has been making all efforts to attract the Muslim community to the party to negate its popular image of an anti-Muslim Hindu majoritarian party.