A BJP candidate who believes in namaz and Hindu gods

May 5th, 2009 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), May 5 (IANS) He is a Muslim man who also visits Hindu temples. He offers the namaz but also sports a tilak on his forehead. Meet Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president and candidate in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur Lok Sabha constituency.
Pitted against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada of the Samajwadi Party and Noor Bano of the Congress, Naqvi gets a tumultuous welcome from supporters as he travels the length and breadth of the Muslim-dominated constituency.

And with the Samajwadi Party divided over Jaya Prada, Naqvi is smelling victory.

A long-time BJP activist who was jailed during the Emergency regime of 1975-77, Naqvi says there is nothing unnatural about a Muslim worshipping the Hindu god Shiva.

“Please remember that eternal power is one and cannot be divided on the pretext of religion,” Naqvi told IANS. “I am a true ambassador of India’s cosmopolitan culture.”

Originally from Allahabad, Naqvi won the Lok Sabha election in 1999 from Rampur, a year after suffering defeat. He again lost in 2004 but is confident of winning again.

But his opponents are no pushovers.

Besides Jaya Prada, the other influential woman in the race is Begum Noor Bano, daughter-in-law of the erstwhile Rampur state’s Nawab Raza Ali Khan. Ghan Shyam Singh Lodhi of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is widely seen as a lightweight.

Samajwadi Party strongman Mohammed Azam Khan’s brazen opposition to Jaya Prada, a protege of his rival Amar Singh, has Naqvi worried because most of Khan’s supporters are titlting towards former MP Noor Bano.

Not the one to accept defeat, Naqvi is telling voters to check how good an MP Noor Bano was. And many are listening to him.

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