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Assam BJP dissolves minority cell after loss in Muslim-dominated seats

This year, the Assam assembly will have around 24 per cent Muslim representatives. Of them, 31 are opposition candidates -- 16 were fielded by the Congress and 15 by its ally in the Mahajot AIUDF.

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Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to dissolve the Assam unit of its minority cell after no Muslim candidate of its alliance managed to win a seat in the state. The alliance had a comfortable victory — winning 75 of the state’s 126 seats of which the BJP won 60 seats, the NDTV reported.

An order issued by the state BJP chief Ranjit Dass says the minority cell has been “suspended for an uncertain period of time”.

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Of the 31-34 Muslim-dominated constituencies, the BJP had secured only one seat in 2016 — Sonai in Cachar district of southern Assam’s Barak Valley. The candidate was Aminul Haque Laskar, who went on to be the Deputy Speaker of the legislative assembly.

This time, besides Laskar, the BJP had fielded eight more Muslim candidates. Five of them contested from western Assam, and one each from the Upper Assam, central Assam and the hill districts.

All of them had lost. Laskar lost by a margin of 19,654 votes to All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) candidate Karim Uddin Barbhuiya.

The poor performance by the Muslim candidates of the BJP and its allies — Asom Gana Parishad and United People’s Party Liberal — is singular.

This year, the Assam assembly will have around 24 per cent Muslim representatives. Of them, 31 are opposition candidates — 16 were fielded by the Congress and 15 by its ally in the Mahajot AIUDF.

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