Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of governance, giving thrust to reforms and development, and his stance against practices like muthalaq have made a tremendous impact on the Muslim population, including women, says Abdul Salam, BJP’s candidate for Lok Sabha polls in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram in Kerala.

The former vice chancellor of Calicut University and the national vice president of BJP’s Minority Morcha is the lone Muslim candidate of the party contesting the elections.

The academician turned politician will contest against ET Muhammed Basheer of the Indian Union Muslim League and V Vaseef of CPI (M). Historically, Malappuram and Ponnani constituencies have been the strong bastion of IUML, an ally of United Democratic Front of the Congress in Kerala.

Talking to businessline, he said today there is no alternative but to vote for BJP considering the governance and functioning style of the PM. “My credentials as VC helped to get the attention of the PM, which paved the way to candidature. The student community and well-wishers have extended all support not openly but silently. We are planning to highlight Modi’s achievements for the inclusive development of all communities,” Salam said.

He points out that it is the false propaganda of the mainstream political parties against reforms and policies of the government that has made BJP untouchable in Malappuram and avers that because of the Modi factor, BJP will make inroads in Kerala this time as the people like the development programmes announced by the Prime Minister for their welfare.

On BJP’s image as a Hindutva party, Salam said: “It is wrong to assume that Hindutva parties are not secular. They are the most tolerant and allow others to live together in the country.”

IUML, which had been in power for a long period, has never been a part of the Central Government, other than a brief stint held by former minister, the late E Ahamed. IUML’s inability to mobilise central resources through power sharing has not yielded the desired results.

According to him, the present development in the Malabar region is because of the common agenda of Modi, and the influence of a BJP MP will bring in more opportunities.

Meanwhile, a controversy has erupted over denying permission to Abdul Salam to accompany the Prime Minister in the open jeep during the road show held in Palakkad last week. However, Salam clarified that he had no complaints as he was not eligible for it and accused CPI (M) of fabricating stories.