BJP a friend of minorities, says party's first Muslim MLA from Tripura

Agartala: BJP’s Tafajjal Hossain, set to be sworn in on Tuesday as a member of the Tripura Legislative Assembly, registered a historic win on September 8 to become the first Muslim representative of the ruling party.

Hossain, who started his political career with the Congress party, joined the BJP as the saffron party grew as a formidable opposition to the CPIM in the state and left no stone unturned to get the attention of the party’s top leadership.

Speaking exclusively to EastMojo a day before his swearing ceremony, Hossain recalled his hard work in the field since 2010 and expressed his sincere gratitude towards BJP, PM Modi and Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha for giving him the opportunity to serve Boxanagar.

“Development has no religion. It is a fact that 60 per cent of the voters of my constituency follow Islam. I am also a follower of this path. But the margin of victory clearly states that apart from the people of my religion, Hindus also voted in favour of my party conclusively. Now, my duty is to bring development to my people. If a road is constructed, Hindus and Muslims both will use it for their transportation. The same logic applies in all sorts of development activities such as electrification of villages, setting up schools, improvement in healthcare and installation of drinking water facilities,” Hossain told EastMojo.

Describing his party as the real friend of the minority communities of the country, Hossain rubbished the opposition’s allegations against his party of being “communal”.

“This a false and fabricated narrative created by the opposition parties to create and spread fear among the Muslims. They don’t have any intention to help my community progress and move ahead with confidence. They want the Muslims to be away from mainstream life so that playing vote bank politics using us becomes easier,” he added.

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Backing the slogan of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”, Hossain said, “For the last several years, I have been working for the BJP on the ground. I have seen how development has witnessed a sea change. For example, the social pension has been increased to Rs 2,000 per month. Is there any Muslim beneficiary who has not benefited from the scheme? Was there any partiality in the distribution of benefits on the basis of caste and community? The answer is a big no. So, I see none of the claims made by the opposition justified. I had the fortune to exchange some words with PM Modi. I keep meeting the Chief Minister of our state on and off. Never ever have they said anything offensive against our religion.”

When asked the reason behind such a landslide victory in a constituency where he had faced an electoral drubbing just a couple of months back, Hossain said, “People of my constituency are very innocent. They have always kept their blessings upon me. There were some key factors that played in favour of the opposition otherwise the results would have been totally different. The CPIM made people believe they were returning to power with the help of Congress and TIPRA Motha. I have to admit: some people in my party worked overnight to ensure my defeat. That was a good learning experience for me.”

According to the newly-elected MLA, the people of his constituency snatched all ties with the CPIM. “For the last 25 years, my constituency has been starving for development. Good roads, infrastructure, markets, schools, hospitals are all absent here. I want to give my people hope that the government hasn’t forgotten us. Our lives also matter. This is how people of my area proved that voters, if they wish, can bring a change,” he added.

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Replying to a query regarding his chances to be inducted into the state cabinet, Hossain said, “Such decisions are taken by the party’s top leadership. I have one request for the Chief Minister. I want his attention to my constituency which is a victim of apathy and ignorance. Development has come to an end grinding halt in my area. I need the full support of the state government to press the accelerator of development in all of Boxanagar.”

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