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bjp: BJP banks on Turks, Pathans to win Rampur

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The BJP has been carrying out a focused outreach programme for Pasmanda or Dalit and backward Muslims across Uttar Pradesh but for Rampur bypoll it is counting on the upper caste Muslims-Pathans and Turks..

The party has been carrying out Pasmanda Sammelans in different parts of the state for over a month. Earlier this month it held a similar meet in Rampur which was attended by deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak. However, sources said the community, with its entrenched religious beliefs and suspicion towards BJP, is tough to win over and the party’s mission to earn their support is a long-termed one, aimed at 2024 polls.

ET Online

“BJP will win Rampur but not because of Pasmanda Muslims. While there will be an increase in support from them, it is largely the upper caste Muslims who have thrown their weight behind the party there,” Basit Ali, chief of BJP’s minority wing in UP told ET. Turk Muslims claim a Turkic descent and are found in large numbers in the Rampur-Sambhal-Moradabad region with senior SP MP from Sambhal Shafiq-ur-Rehman Barq being a prominent representative of the community.

There are more than 1.5 lakh Muslim voters in the Rampur assembly seat. However, 60% of the Muslims are from upper castes- Pathans, Turks and others. Over the last few days, some influential Muslims such as Nawab Kazim Ali Khan who is known to be an arch rival of Azam, have extended their support to BJP’s candidate Akash Saxena.

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