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From zilch to six: Muslims from UP made their way to LS

Muslim electorates are well positioned to change fortunes in many constituencies, with a slight swing in their voting preference.

From zilch to six: Muslims from UP made their way to LS

NEW DELHI: Of 22 crore population of Uttar Pradesh, Muslims constitute crucial 19.23 per cent and not even a single candidate from the minority community could reach the Lok Sabha in 2014.

From zilch in 2014, the representation of Muslims in parliament go up in Lok Sabha 2019. This time, six Muslim candidates fielded by the SP-BSP-RLD alliance have made their way to the Parliament.

Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Members of Parliament (MPs) — is the greatest purveyor of representatives in the Lok Sabha. In 2014, the BJP fielded 7 Muslim candidates but none won. It was for the first time since Independence that Muslims have lost considerable political space and did not find a single voice in Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.

Muslim voting patterns are not monolithic, uniform or communal. But by and large, they vote for parties and candidates that do not treat them as the ‘other’, that stand with them, and do not doubt their qualifications for citizenship.

Muslim electorates are well positioned to change fortunes in many constituencies, with a slight swing in their voting preference.

In the 2019 general election, Muslims maintained a strategic silence throughout the campaign. Clerics in the community stayed away from issuing any fatwa. Despite use of the ‘green virus’ and debate of “Ali vs Bajrangbali” by BJP leaders, there were no protests or demonstrations by the community.

Unlike last time, due to the multi-cornered fights and division of Muslim votes among non-BJP parties, this time, the community had Congress-SP-BSP-RLD alliance, together to vote for, which resulted in the victory of Muslim candidates.

Constituency          

Candidate                

Party

Moradabad          Dr. S T Hasan        Samajwadi Party (SP)
Rampur               Azam Khan        Samajwadi Party (SP)
Sambhal         Shafiqur Rehman Barq    Samajwadi Party (SP)
Ghazipur                Afzal Ansari           Bahujan Samaj Party 
Saharanpur         Haji Fazlur Rahman             Bahujan Samaj Party 
Amroha                   Kunwar Danish Ali  Bahujan Samaj Party 

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