Surat: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday appointed Afzal Khan Pathan, a party worker since 1995, as the ruling party leader in Surat District Panchayat.
A farmer by profession, Pathan has won the district panchayat election from Lindiyat-Bhatkol village of Mangrol taluka in Surat district.
The appointment has been made to refute allegations that the saffron party is against Muslims, party sources said while talking to ummid.com.
Out of the total 40 seats in Surat District Panchayat, the BJP has 27 seats whereas the Congress party has 12 seats. One seat is held by an independent.
Though the BJP had not given party ticket to any Muslim in recently concluded Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) election, it had fielded a total of 08 Muslims for Municipal Corporation elections in three other cities – 04 in Ahmedabad, 02 each in Jamnagar and Rajkot.
Out of the 08 Muslim candidates who contested the election on BJP ticket, Sofia Zahid, a Commerce graduate and wife of local Congress leader, from Rajkot, becoming first Muslim woman corporator of the BJP in Gujarat.