POLITICS

The New UP Assembly Will Likely Have The Second Lowest Number Of Muslim MLAs Ever

The BJP which won a massive majority in the state did not give any Muslim candidates tickets.

11/03/2017 7:12 PM IST | Updated 11/03/2017 8:30 PM IST
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Muslim women queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on February 11, 2017.

Uttar Pradesh is on track to have the second fewest Muslim MLAs in its history following the BJP's sweep in the state. The last time the state had such few Muslim MLAs was in 1991, when the BJP swept 221 seats.

At the time of writing, there are 25 Muslim MLAs leading in UP; six from the Bahujan Samaj Party, two from the Congress, and 17 from the Samajwadi Party, according to Election Commission of India data. The BJP, which fielded no Muslims, is currently leading in 311 of the state's 403 constituencies, and is headed for a massive sweep.

According to the Indian Legislators and Candidates Dataset compiled by the Trivedi Centre for Political Data, the state has usually had between 35 and 60 Muslim MLAs in its 403-member house. The outgoing assembly had the highest number of Muslim MLAs ever, with the SP itself bringing 43 Muslim MLAs into the house.

18 of the newly elected Muslim MLAs come from 82 constituencies where the Muslim population was 30% or above (the data on the share of Muslim population in a constituency is from Datanet India). Just seven won from the 321 constituencies where the Muslim population was below 30%. Muslims make up 20.7% of UP's population.

The numbers also show that assumptions about whom Muslims voted for might be too simplistic. The SP and INC won all but two of the 15 constituencies in which the Muslim population was above 45%. In the two remaining constituencies which the BJP won, there was a clear indication from the voteshare of the second and third-placed candidates that the Muslim vote had got divided between them.


"For us this is a clear indication of the direction that the country is taking, and it is very sad for democracy," Navaid Hamid, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a non-political umbrella body of Muslim organisations. As a result, a situation has been created where only Muslim parties are giving Muslims tickets, Hamid said.

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