Friday, May 21, 2004
Thousands of Musilm workers desert BJP
Friday, May 21, 2004 (Lucknow):
In a mass exodus after the poll debacle, around 3000 Muslim workers of the BJP in Lucknow are expected to join the Congress today.
The workers, who had been actively involved in Vajpayee's campaign just a few days ago, suddenly find the BJP communal.
"The BJP thinks that Muslims have no right to be here, they should be denied Muslim votes," said Sayed Rafat, former BJP worker.
The rebel workers gathered in the old city of Lucknow and took an oath to wipe out the BJP. They say they felt suffocated in the party.
"When we'd speak to our family and friends, we'd feel something amiss. Today, we feel totally free," said Mohammad Shafi, another former worker.
The turnaround came with some guidance from the local Congress party workers.
"I will explain our party's policies to them and convince them to join us," said Anwar Hussain, Congress Sewa Dal.
Recently many Muslim groups had expressed their solidarity with BJP and also formed a Vajpayee fan club. However, with the results of the recent elections, the equations were bound to change.
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