After Rajnath Singh and Uma Bharti, another union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday said it would have been better had the Bharatiya Janata Party given tickets to Muslims for the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
The remark by Naqvi, who is Minister of State for Minority Affairs, came on a day when voting took place for the fifth round of the seven-phase polling for 51 assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts of the state. The seventh and final phase of polling will be held on March 8.
Naqvi, however, said that the BJP believes in taking along all the sections of the society and that the community will be adequately compensated if the party comes to power in the state.
"As far as tickets are concerned, it would have been better (if tickets were given to Muslims).
"We will address their concern by compensating them if we form government in the state," Naqvi said, without elaborating.
The minister said that the National Democratice Alliance government's performance should not be assessed in the light of the BJP not offering tickets to Muslims in the UP elections.
"The BJP believes in taking along all the sections of the society. We formed government at the Centre with cooperation of all. Similarly, we will form government in the state...,"he said.
The BJP has not fielded even a single Muslim candidate in the politically crucial state, which has sizeable Muslim population.
Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh had on Thursday told a TV channel that the BJP should have given tickets to Muslims in the UP polls.
Bharti, who is Water Resources Minister, has echoed Singh's views.
"Yes, I think that Rajnathji has rightly said, we should have given tickets (to muslims)," she said yesterday.
At the same time Bharti said that when it comes to ticket distribution the winnability factor is the first consideration.
"I am really feeling sorry as we couldn't do that (tickets for muslims). I will talk to Amit Shahji and Maurya sahab (UP BJP chief) so that we can bring a muslim candidate in Vidhan Parishad, she said, adding, "Rajnathji has accepted this and I too accept it."