Triple Talaq Crusader Ishrat Jahan Absent in BJP’s Minority Meet

The BJP’s minority convention comes after the ruling Trinamool Congress held the ‘Brahmin convention’ recently.

2 min read
File image of Ishrat Jahan joining  the BJP at the party’s office in Howrah, West Bengal.

The BJP organised its first minority meet in West Bengal on Thursday, 11 January, where, according to party sources, 15,000 Muslims from across Bengal turned up. However, the turn out was far lesser than the party claimed.

The event began with a crowd of around 110, and then dwindled as it progressed. Triple talaq crusader Ishrat Jahan, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently, was also conspicuous by her absence.

Empty chairs at the BJP’s minority rally.
Empty chairs at the BJP’s minority rally.
(Photo: Ishadrita Lahiri/The Quint)

Nazia Elahi Khan, Ishrat's lawyer who also joined the BJP recently, took to the stage to lash out at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), calling it a “Virasat ki rajneeti (politics of legacy).” Khan also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for banning triple talaq.

The idea behind the meet was to specifically target Muslim women with Jahan as the mascot, said party sources. 

However, the number of women at the event did not even cross double digits. Former TMC leader and MP Mukul Roy, who joined the saffron party, also attended the event. Attacking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Roy said, “One doesn’t need to wear a hijab and read the namaz to work for the minorities.”

When The Quint asked BJP state president Dilip Ghosh about Jahan’s absence, he said, “She’s not a state-level leader. Those who want to come will come, those who don’t can stay at home.”

The BJP’s convention comes just days after the ruling Trinamool Congress batted for a Hindu pitch through the ‘Brahmin Convention’.

A senior Trinamool leader organised a ‘Brahmin convention’ in Bolpur town of Birbhum district on Monday, 8 January, to counter BJP’s claim that the TMC was appeasing minorities.

The day-long Brahmin and Purohit Sammelan was organised by the TMC's Birbhum district president, Anubrata Mandal, who is a strong critic of the BJP and its policies. Mandal said the convention was organised to highlight the "misinterpretations" of Hinduism by the BJP and discuss what the Hindu religion stood for.

The saffron party accused the TMC leadership of practising "soft Hindutva" in a bid to stop the Hindu voters of the state from tilting towards the BJP.

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