45 of 87 Muslim strongholds inked finger with “saffron”?

Written by | May 20, 2014 | 0
Hyderabad:  The duress of communalism is not merely a bogey, and the Muslim ‘sense of alarmism’ does not exist in a vacuum

Over half of the 87 Lok Sabha seats were won by BJP across the country with a high percentage of Muslim voters, with most of the gains concentrated in the politically crucial states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

In spite of this, the new Lok Sabha will have the fewest Muslim parliamentarians since the one elected in 1952, with just 21 of them came out to be victorious in the polls. The BJP itself does not have a single MP from the minority community.

The BJP won 45 of the 87 Lok Sabha seats identified by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) as having a high concentration of Muslim voters.

The party won all but one of the 27 seats with a sizeable Muslim electorate in Uttar Pradesh. Well-known among the winners in Uttar Pradesh was BJP president Rajnath Singh, who won the Lucknow seat that has approximately four lakh Muslim voters, including numerous Shias.

Significantly, the BJP grabbed three seats in Assam with a large number of Muslim voters — Mangaldoi, Gauhati, and Kaliabor.
It also won the North- East Delhi and Chandni Chowk constituencies in the national Capital, both of which have a large Muslim electorate. Of the 102 constituencies where at least one in five voters is a Muslim, the BJP won 47 seats.

In the 2009 general election, the party had won only 24 of these seats. The party also won two seats where over half the population is Muslim.

All the same, the BJP was unable to make a dent in the 19 Muslim- dominated constituencies in West Bengal, the majority of which were won by the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. It was also show incapability to register any success in the 10 such constituencies in the southern states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

The 87 Lok Sabha seats with a considerable Muslim population include 27 in Uttar Pradesh, 19 in West Bengal, eight each in Kerala and Assam, six each in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, four in Maharashtra, two in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, and one each in Haryana, Lakshwadeep, Tripura Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

For the first time, not even a single Muslim was elected to the 543- member Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 seats.
The maximum number of Muslim MPs tally to six, were elected from West Bengal followed by four from Bihar.

Three parliamentarians were elected from both Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir, two from Assam, and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Lakshwadeep.

The Muslim candidates who won belong to the Trinamool Congress, CPI (M), Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, People’s Democratic Party, AIADMK, All India United Democratic Front, All India Majlis- E- Ittehadul Muslimeen and Indian Union Muslim League.

The representation of Muslims in the new Lok Sabha will be the lowest since India’s first election 62 years back, when they accounted for about 4.3 per cent of the total number of MPs. The outgoing Lok Sabha had 30 Muslim members.

In 1980, Muslim representation in the Lok Sabha hit a high of 9.3 per cent (49 members) but the figure after that dropped to between five per cent and six per cent in recent decades.

Filed in: Hyderabad

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