Hyderabad: Although, PM Modi was successful in Gujarat Assembly Polls for getting BJP back to power Rahul Gandhi and his party gave a tough fight to Modi and Amit Shah.
As usual, BJP overlooked Muslim voters and as its repercussion, Congress also kept the Muslim voters away. Congress party knew that Muslims will never vote BJP and their votes are bound to be polled in favour of Congress only.
It is most unfortunate that during UP elections, lofty talks were made to forge Dalit-Muslim unity but it could not materialize. Had it been done, fascist forces could have been crushed.
Dalit-Muslim unity was exhibited to some extent in Gujarat Assembly Polls. Jignesh Mevani won the seat from Vadgam Assembly Constituency wherein there are 70, 000 Muslim voters. Without the support of Muslim voters, Mevani could not have won the seat.
According to Dalit Activist, Ashok Bharati, Chairman, National Confederation of Dalit Organizations, a ray of hope was generated among the marginalized Muslims.
During the election campaign, neither the BJP nor the Congress talked about Muslim issues since both the parties wanted to supersede one another in proving their monopoly over the Hindu voters.
Congress did not talk about the Muslim issues. It made an attempt to exhibit its proximity with the Hindus.
With the success of Mevani, it is hoped that a new era of Dalit-Muslim unity would start.
It may be mentioned that after Una tragedy wherein Dalit youths were assaulted by upper caste Hindus for removing the skin of a dead cow, Mevani emerged as Dalit leader. He has become the face of Dalit Movement in Gujarat. He contested as an independent candidate. Congress and AAP supported him. Another OBC leader, Alpesh Thakore won the seat from Radhanpur Assembly constituency. It is hoped that both these Dalit leaders will not allow BJP Govt. to neglect Dalit issues.
According to an expert politician of Gujarat, Prashant Dayal, to defeat Alpesh and Gijnash, BJP had put all its might in their consistencies.
It may be mentioned that in more than 30 Assembly constituencies, Muslims constitute 9.66 % and they are in a position to be the kingmakers.
In constituencies which were reserved for SCs/STs, Muslim voters constitute 14-30 percent and their votes decided the fate of these candidates.