In a praiseworthy action, the Assam unit of BJP has dissolved its minority cell after the poor performance of the party in minority-dominated constituencies.
“The BJP has shown poor performance in minority-dominated areas in the recently concluded Assam assembly election. The party got far fewer votes in these areas while the 20-member booth committees were present,” said in the order copy of Assam state BJP, led by Ranjeet Kumar Dass.
In the Muslim dominated constituencies where BJP and its allies had fielded its candidates, the party performed poorly with deposits of most of the candidates being forfeited. BJP had fielded candidates in Jania, Jaleswar, Baghbar, South Salmara, Bilasipara West in Lower Assam, Laharighat, Rupohihat in Central Assam and Sonai constituency in Barak Valley region and all of them lost. Out of 32-34 Muslim-dominated constituencies in Assam, BJP had secured only one seat (Sonai constituency in Cachar district) in the 2016 assembly election and in the 2021 assembly election, it lost even that seat.
From the results of the election, it is very much evident that Muslims do not vote for BJP, and therefore, the party does not need a minority cell dedicated to minorities and spend financial resources and time on that. Moreover, having a minority cell is pure tokenism and appeasement – something for which the secular parties, to which BJP is opposed, do to win over the segments of the society. And, if BJP is opposed to their version of secularism and their appeasement politics, it must not do the same.
The dissolution of the Assam minority cell is a lesson for other state units, and district units of BJP which have similar bodies. Like Assam, BJP does not get a majority of the Muslim votes in other states – the minor percentage of Muslims who vote for BJP and rally behind its core values would vote for party irrespective of the fact whether it has a minority cell or not – and they must also dissolve these minority cells.
Having a minority cell just like the so-called secular parties is a net loss for BJP because it pushes back its core voter base which is opposed to this idea of tokenism. Whenever BJP tries to co-opt the Muslim community like the ‘secular parties’ a good number of its core voter base shifts to NOTA. And, the formation of these minority cells also pushes the core voter base, which is dedicated to the idea of Hindutva and does not see Muslims as a separate entity, towards NOTA.
Hence, the organizational units of BJP across the country must learn from the Assam BJP and dissolve the minority cell for its own good. The 5-6 per cent Muslims who believe in the idea of Hindutva would continue to vote for the party while the rest of them, who vote tactically to ensure its defeat, would also continue with that. There is no need to waste financial resources and the time of senior leaders on some project that would bring no return on investment.