New Delhi: Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Amanatullah Khan, on Monday, said holding elections during Ramzan will cause inconvenience to Muslims and directly benefit the Bhartiya Janata Party, when a war of words broke out between the BJP and opposition parties over Lok Sabha elections being held during the month of Ramzan.
These views were also echoed by some leaders of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. The Kolkata mayor and senior TMC leader, Firhad Hakim, said the seven-phase Lok Sabha election in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, where there are large Muslim populations, is a “conspiracy to stop minorities from voting”. However, Hakim said his party was not worried as the voters of the country are “committed to BJP hatao-desh bachao (remove BJP, save country)”.
Ramzan is expected to commence either on May 5 or 6 and will last for about 29 days. The seven-phase Lok Sabha election will be held from April 11 to May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.
The Election Commission clarified elections were conducted during Ramzan as an entire month cannot be excluded from the schedule and said, “… However, dates of main festivals and Fridays are avoided as poll days.”
Responding to opposition’s claims BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said, “Muslims do not observe roza (fast) by not doing their work. Islam also does not ask us to stop our work for worship. It is not that people who have jobs do not attend them during Ramzan. They keep roza and do their work as well.”
Meanwhile, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi rubbished the claims made by the AAP and TMC leaders. He said the coinciding of Lok Sabha polls with Ramzan would not hamper poll percentage.