BJP Muslim candidates sweep Gujarat town

Salaya, a small Muslim-majority town in Jamnagar district of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, gave the BJP a pleasant surprise by throwing out the Congress completely after some 25 years, since this municipality came into being.

Not only has BJP captured all 27 seats of the Salaya municipality, 24 of these are Muslims fielded by the saffron party for the first time ever. So far the BJP used to field Hindus on this seat.

The town which falls in the coastal district of Jamnagar is a part of the Khambhaliya constituency which was won by a Congress turncoat Poonam Madam, who got a BJP ticket hours after she switched from the Congress in the December 2012 Assembly elections.

Even in South Gujarat at least two Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP for the first time won.

Salaya recorded just 46.47 per cent voter turnout, the lowest in the state in this election. Salaya was also the only municipality where women turned out in larger numbers (57.06 per cent) than men (36.73 per cent) of of the 16,108 voters which is the lowest in the entire Jamnagar district.

The BJP won 47 of the 75 nagarpalikas whose results were declared on Tuesday. Polling was held on Sunday for 76 nagarpalikas of which the results of Bhachau in Kutch district were withheld.

"Going by the latest available figures, the BJP had fielded 140 Muslim candidates in these elections, of whom 85 have won, which is an impressive figure," says Gujarat BJP Laghumati Morcha president Sufi Mahebub Ali Bawa Chishti.

He that said most of the nagarpalikas were in the Saurashtra region where Muslims had helped the BJP win.

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