TP Sulfath, who hails from a traditional Muslim family in IUML stronghold Malappuram, is contesting for the BJP.

BJP candidate TP Sulfath in a navy blue kurta and a red dupatta draped over her head She is smiling at the camera
news KERALA LOCAL BODY POLLS 2020 Monday, November 23, 2020 - 18:32

Malappuram native TP Sulfath has been flooded with phone calls ever since she filed the nominations to contest from the Emangad ward in Wandoor gram panchayat in Malappuram district of Kerala. Most of them were curious to know why a woman who hailed from a traditional Muslim family from an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) stronghold had decided to contest for the BJP. Sulfath has one same answer to all of them: Triple talaq ban and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to raise the marriagable age of women.

Sulfath hails from a family of IUML supporters and Left sympathisers but she personally did not have any political leaning, she says. However she says she was moved by the ban on Triple Talaq -- a practise of instant divorce in the Muslim community. The BJP passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill in July 2019. So when she came to know that the BJP could not find a candidate to contest from Emmangad ward, which is reserved for women, Sulfath did not think twice before jumping into the fray.

“I was married off at the age of 15 years just after completing class 10. I know the difficulties women who are in similar situations have to go through. So apart from triple talaq, I was deeply moved when I heard Modiji has mooted to raise the marriage age of women to 21,” Sulfath told TNM. She also opines that the practice of instant divorce was anti-women and was overwhelmed by the Union government's decision to do away with it.

Sulfath also adds that she has however not given much thought on other controversial issues including Citizenship (Amendement) Act, for which the BJP has drawn a lot of flak.

“I don’t think CAA or the recent verdict on Babri Masjid has repercussions on the Muslim community. However I am yet to study it in detail. Once I study, then I will opine about them. I will raise my objections if tomorrow my opinion changes,” adds Sulfath.

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