The skepticism about the Muslim community’s reservations about voting for the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was laid to rest on Friday when the party went on win all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi.
Data released by the office of the Delhi chief electoral officer have indicated a reversal in the Muslim community’s support for the Aam Aadmi Party in the National Capital.
In the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, BJP candidate Harsh Vardhan trounced his AAP rival Ashutosh in Sadar Bazar by 17,623 votes. Likewise, in Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk too, the BJP candidate enjoyed a much larger vote share than Ashutosh.
“There is no such thing that any community will be sidelined or marginalised if BJP is in power. We do not believe in such politics,” Harsh Vardhan said.
While many spoke about Kapil Sibal continuing to enjoy the minority community’s faith, the poll results told a different tale. The two-time Congress MP, who had won by a margin of over 2 lakh votes last time, ended up at the third spot in Chandni Chowk.
If the comments from clerics and members of the community are anything to go by, then the Muslims have decided not to repose any faith in the Congress simply because they had been taken for granted for the last 10 years. Not only did the community lost faith in the Congress, but it also turned away from the AAP. The antics in the Delhi Assembly had clearly spelt disaster for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
While AAP candidates had banked heavily on a secure Muslim vote bank in Delhi, this reversal in trend across all seven parliamentary constituencies in the Capital is emblematic of the fact that the community have moved beyond the past references to Modi’s alleged involvement in the Godhra riots. It also shows that the minority community is ready to give the BJP a chance at governance too.
In North-East Delhi constituency, which has a sizeable Muslim population in Babarpur and Mustafabad Assembly constituencies, BJP candidate Manoj Tiwari, who was initially relying upon a huge vote bank from the Purvanchali population, now enjoys the vote of the Muslim populace as well.
Moreover, a large section of the Muslim population came out in celebration of the BJP’s victory on Friday, stating that they felt no fear in voting for the party.
In West Delhi, where Parvesh Singh Verma won by the largest margin, the BJP candidate polled 1.11 lakh votes from Matiala and 80,529 votes from Najafgarh while AAP’s Jarnail Singh polled merely 57,492 and 30,850 votes respectively from these areas. The two areas have a large Muslim population.
“I was confident of getting the highest margin in the city. The people of all communities have gone all out to extend their support to the party and all this talk about Muslims being sidelined is rubbish. Every community is equal for us and we believe in working equally hard for all of them,” Parvesh said.
Results show support for saffron in 45 of 87 Muslim strongholds
The BJP has won more than half the 87 Lok Sabha seats across the country with a high percentage of Muslim voters, with most of the gains concentrated in the politically crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
However, the new Lok Sabha will have the fewest Muslim parliamentarians since the one elected in 1952, with just 21 of them emerging 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. In Uttar Pradesh alone, the party won all but one of the 27 seats with a sizeable Muslim electorate.
Prominent among the winners in Uttar Pradesh was BJP president Rajnath Singh, who bagged the Lucknow seat that has some four lakh Muslim voters, including numerous Shias.
Significantly, the BJP bagged three seats in Assam with a large number of Muslim voters – Gauhati, Mangaldoi and Kaliabor. It also won the Chandni Chowk and North-East Delhi 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 last general election in 2009, the party had won only 24 of these seats. The party also won two seats where more than half the population is Muslim.
However, the BJP was unable to make a dent in the 19 Muslim-dominated constituencies in West Bengal, most of which were won by the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. It was also unable 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 sizeable Muslim population include 27 in Uttar Pradesh, 19 in West Bengal, eight each in Assam and Kerala, six each in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, four in Maharashtra, two in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, and one each in Haryana, Tripura, Lakshwadeep, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
For the first time, not a single Muslim was elected to the 543-member Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 seats.
The maximum number of Muslim MPs, six, were elected from West Bengal, followed by four from Bihar.
Three parliamentarians were elected from both Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala, two from Assam, and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Lakshwadeep and Tamil Nadu.
The winning Muslim candidates belong to the Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Lok Janshakti Party, People’s Democratic Party, All India United Democratic Front, AIADMK, 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 ago, when they accounted for about 4.3 per cent of the total number of MPs. The outgoing Lok Sabha had 30 Muslim members.
Muslim representation in the Lok Sabha hit a high of 9.3 per cent (49 members) in 1980 but the figure subsequently dropped to between five per cent and six per cent in recent decades.
Source India Today