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Muslims and UP elections
By Masoom Moradabadi

Elections in the country’s biggest state, Uttar Pradesh are over and efforts are being made to form the new government. As per the earlier estimates, a hung Assembly has come into existence and no party has got a clear majority. 


After Assam and West Bengal, population of Muslims in UP is fairly large which is almost 19 per cent of the state’s total population. Therefore, whenever elections are held all eyes are on this aspect to see as to where Muslim votes will go. All political parties carry out different types of experiments to garner their votes and tickets are distributed from different angles and golden dreams in the form of election promises are shown. In the recent elections of 2002 there was a race among different parties to give maximum number of tickets to Muslims.

  Elections in the country’s biggest state, Uttar Pradesh are over and efforts are being made to form the new government. As per the earlier estimates, a hung Assembly has come into existence and no party has got a clear majority. The Samajwadi Party, in spite of capturing the maximum number of seats, is far from attaining an absolute majority. Under these circumstances, forming a government is proving a difficult task and the centre of all activities is Lucknow’s Governor’s house where final decision is to be taken.

After Assam and West Bengal, population of Muslims in UP is fairly large which is almost 19 per cent of the state’s total population. Therefore, whenever elections are held all eyes are on this aspect to see as to where Muslim votes will go. All political parties carry out different types of experiments to garner their votes and tickets are distributed from different angles and golden dreams in the form of election promises are shown. In the recent elections of 2002 there was a race among different parties to give maximum number of tickets to Muslims. Bahujan Samaj Party was the foremost among them which gave tickets to Muslims in 86 constituencies. Congress was the next which gave tickets to 69 Muslim candidates. Samajwadi Party stood up 52 Muslim candidates in the field. BJP, not to completely ignore them, gave ticket to only one Muslim candidate out of a total of 403 Assembly seats, from Shahjahanpur’s Tilahra constituency and who even lost his security deposit.

After declaration of results of the UP Assembly elections in the year 2002 the overall position of Muslim candidates is that their combined strength stands at 45 who have won on different party tickets in an Assembly of 403 seats. Maximum number of Muslims i.e. 22, succeeded on Samajwadi Party (SP) tickets whose total strength stands at 147 in an Assembly of 403 seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) comes next whose total strength stands at 98 out of which 14 are Muslims. Out of 26 successful candidates of Congress Party, number of Muslims is 4. Other smaller parties have returned 6 successful candidates, including ‘Apna Dal’(2), Rashtriya Lok Dal (1), independents and others.

If we compare the results of 1996 Assembly elections when the combined strength of Muslim MLAs was 42 with the present ones, we find that there has been an addition of 3 more successful candidates. It may be noted that from 1952 elections onwards, the maximum number of successful Muslim candidates were in 1985 when their total strength was 53. These elections were held at a time when there was a strong sympathy wave after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 when 31 Muslims had won on Congress ticket. As against this, in 1991 Assembly elections when there was a communal wave in the name of Ram Mandir, the number of Muslims who had won was reduced to 19 only which is the lowest so far. Continued

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