A majority of Muslim women voters in Bhopal North constituency said that they would go with the Congress despite the BJP fielding a Muslim woman as its candidate from the constituency. Fatima Rasool Siddiqui (35) is facing Congress veteran and fifth times MLA (member of legislative assembly) Arif Aqueel. Fatima is a daughter of Rasool Ahmad Siddiqui, a Congress leader from Bhopal North who is no more. She is the only BJP Muslim candidate in the state.
Farida Hafeez who works in a private firm told Free Press, “We have been voting to Congress since childhood. So, whether the candidate is Hindu or Muslim, male or female, it doesn’t affect us. She further said, “Why should I vote to BJP? Nowadays, there is no employment and inflation is increasing day by day. Also, women are not safe. We need job, ‘Keval Vikas se pet nahi bharta….’.”
Similarly, 53-year-old Nuzhat, a school teacher said, “We have decided our vote. We will vote for Congress. We don’t know Fatima and I didn’t see her.” Zeba Rashid, a homemaker said, “I will vote Fatima because she is female as well as young face. We should give chance to others also. At present, the infrastructure of the area is worst. Roads are not plain. There is no traffic rule, no cleanliness and of course, women are not same.
So we are expecting from her to sort out these problems.” “And of course, triple talaq will be one of the issues. We support the correct way of triple talaq, mentioned in our ‘Qransharif’, we want there should no politics on it,” Rashid said. A 22-year-old Sarah Mukhtar, who works in a private firm said, “I will vote to those candidates who have done development work in their area. I will also like to see their achievements before voting. I didn’t hear the name of Fatima and don’t know her achievement.
Still, she didn’t come for campaigning in our area. If she comes, we will consider. “If I don’t find any suitable candidate, I will go for NOTA,” Mukhtar added. A homemaker, Qaisar Khan, said, “We will vote Fatima just because of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. I like him a lot. He made many schemes for the welfare of women of all religions whether they are Hindu or Muslim. He didn’t do any partiality in it.”