Imphal: Rejecting allegations that the party is ignoring Muslims in ticket distribution for the upcoming Assembly polls in Manipur, BJP today said it has selected candidates on the basis of "winnability".
Claiming that the state has become the most backward in the entire northeastern region due to prolonged Congress rule, BJP Manipur spokesperson O Joy said in order to change the situation, the party has chosen those who would help it come to power in the polls scheduled to be held on March 4 and 8.
"There is no question of communalism in ticket distribution. Our party leaders have focused on winnability as the top priority while deciding candidates," Joy told PTI.
On the allegations that the party has ignored Muslims in ticket distribution, he said, "That is absolutely untrue."
Joy further said, "The reality is that Congress has been ruling the state for a long time but today Manipur is the most backward state in the northeastern region. We need a political transformation in the state for which we need candidates who will win us seats."
The priority for BJP is to lead Manipur to the path of growth and improve the situation as a whole, he said, adding "once that is achieved all the communities will develop together. There is no question of sectarianism."
Muslim ticket aspirants of the BJP in the upcoming polls in the state had expressed disappointment that they have been ignored with even the party's state unit president of Minority Morcha failing to get the nod.
Out of a total of 17 aspirants who had sought party tickets to contest in five different assembly seats, so far only one -- Md Anwar Hussain -- has been given the green signal to be the candidate from Lilong -- a constituency with the largest Muslim population in the state.
The party has so far announced the first list of candidates from 31 out of a total of 60 seats in the state.