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Muslims and UP elections
By Masoom Moradabadi

Continued from

During the election campaigns for the recent elections, SP was accused of distributing lesser number of tickets to Muslims whereas BSP has very liberally given the tickets to them. SP President, Mulayam Singh in reply to this accusation had stated that if the solution to the problems of any community or class lies in giving them more tickets, he is ready to give tickets for all the 403 UP Assembly seats to Muslims. Moreover, distribution of tickets is one thing but ensuring the success of candidates is another thing.

The election results have proved that distribution of large number of tickets by any party to Muslims does not ensure the success of this party because BSP gave 86 tickets to Muslims but only 14 of them were able to win, whereas SP gave tickets to 53 Muslims out of whom it succeeded in ensuring the success of 22 candidates for the Assembly. This also proves that simply by distributing large number of tickets to any community or class, its betterment or development cannot be ensured. Rather, Muslims can be made victorious by keeping their ratio in view and by adopting sensible and expedient strategy.

If a review is made of successful Muslim candidates, the most prominent personality is that of SP general secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan who has successively won for the sixth time from his traditional constituency of Rampur. He defeated his nearest rival by a margin of 38 thousand votes which is the largest in comparison with the margin of any other Muslim candidate. Shujaul Islam, who won from the Bareily Cantt constituency, may probably be the youngest member of UP Assembly. SP made him its candidate after the nomination paper of his father, Islam Saabir, was rejected. He is a student of BA (1st year) in Bareily University. Some of the important members elected in the recent Assembly elections are Dr Waqar Ahmad, Kamaal Yusuf, Alam Badi Azmi, Nawab Iqbal Mahmood, Masood Khan, Haji Mushtaq Solanki, Mukhtar Ansari, Ateeq Ahmad, Nawab Kaukab Hameed etc.

In these elections two Muslim ladies were also elected for UP Assembly. One of them, is Fasih Murad Laari who was elected from Saleempur constituency on BSP ticket while the other is Mrs Louis Khurshid who won from Qaem Ganj on Congress ticket. Mrs Louis Khurshid is the daughter-in-law of former governor Khurshid Alam Khan and wife of former UP Congress President Salman Khurshid. She is a journalist by profession.

If analysed closely, Muslims on the whole have voted in a very sensible manner in these elections, though Muslim candidates have lost in some Muslim majority constituencies because of the presence of several Muslim candidates. However, in most of the Muslim constituencies, candidates who were in a likely position of defeating BJP candidates were given preference.

Out of 403 of UP Assembly seats, 145 seats are such where Muslims can play a vital role. Their role in 80 constituencies is decisive. The population of Muslims in Rampur is 42 per cent, in Moradabad it is 40 per cent, in Bijnaur it is 38 per cent, in Amroha it is 37 per cent, Meerut 30 per cent, Kerana 29 per cent, Balrampur and Bareily 28 per cent each, Sambhal, Padrauna, Muzaffarnagar 27 per cent each, Domarya Ganj 27 per cent, Bahraich, Qaisar Ganj and Lucknow 23 per cent, Shahjahanpur, Khurja, Hapur 22 per cent, Buland Shahar, Khalilabad, Sitapur, Barabanki 20 per cent, Chail, Piliphit, Lal Ganj, Aligarh, Aonla, Budaun 18 per cent each, Agra, Akbarpur, Baghpat, Kheri, Shahabad etc it is 15 to 17 per cent. 
It may be recalled that in an election speech in Varanasi recently, Prime Minister Vajpayee had made a controversial statement that Muslims should not vote with the objective of defeating BJP because BJP will otherwise win even without their votes. But election results have once again proved that no party can win without Muslims votes, even if it is BJP.
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