Last week, Kausar Abbas was elected chairperson of the Nagar Panchayat of Sirsi, a small town of around 30,000 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district.
Abbas was one of the nearly 15,000 people to have won the state’s urban body elections held earlier this month. Yet, his name features in several news reports detailing the results.
The reason for his prominence: he is one of the 61 Muslim candidates to have won on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, and one of the five to have secured the position of chairperson.
The results have made the BJP, which has come to power promoting Hindu supremacism, proclaim that it now has the support of a large section of the state’s Muslims.
Abbas, though, seemed to be less enthusiastic about his ties with the BJP. During a phone interview with Scroll, he said he had “formally” joined the saffron party only very recently – the day he filed his nomination papers to contest the election.
He said he used to be in the Samajwadi Party till about seven years ago, but in recent years had “started doing social work”.
Given his “track record of helping everyone in need”, Abbas said the BJP platform was no hindrance – even though around 80%…