For the first time, Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for nearly 18 per cent of the Muslim population, has failed to send even one Muslim MP to the Lok Sabha. Disappointed over election results, Muslim clerics blamed polarisation of Hindu votes in favour of Narendra Modi for BJP’s landslide victory.
The BJP won from all the 21 seats where Muslim population is more than 10 per cent. Major Muslim dominated seats like Saharanpur, Rampur, Sambhal, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, Kairana, Baghpat, Bijnor, Amroha witnessed multiple Muslim candidates resulting in splitting of votes in favour of the BJP.
“Even Dalits and Yadavs voted for Modi. Muslims alone cannot change things as they are in minority. Hindus united in favour of Modi and not BJP,” Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, stated. Arshad was considered close to Mulayam Singh Yadav after the Muzaffarnagar riots. He kept his fingers crossed over the fate of Muslims under Modi’s rule. “Only time will tell that,” he added.
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, who had issued an appeal in favour of the Congress, claimed that secular parties did not take the Modi wave seriously. “United efforts were required and secular parties did not pay any heed. In the end secular votes were divided,” Bukhari claimed. He, however, admitted that majority of Hindus voted for the BJP. “They are in majority but they should govern as per the constitution,” Bukhari added.
Bareilly cleric Tauqeer Raza, whose bonhomie with the SP ended shortly before polls, said, “Nothing can be said at present. Results are on expected lines.”
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Shia cleric and vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Dr Kalbe Sadiq stated that verdict should be accepted. “We should accept people’s verdict in democracy. Muslims need not be afraid about Modi as when anyone comes to power, the policies change,” Sadiq claimed.
In 2009, seven Muslim candidates — Salman Khurshid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Zafar Ali Naqvi from the Congress, and Kadir Rana, Shafiqur Rehman Barq, Kaiser Jahan and Tabassum Hasan from the BSP won from UP.
In 2014, all Muslim candidates — 13 from SP, 19 from BSP and nine from Congress — lost the polls. While Khurshid and Naqvi lost elections, Azharuddin did not contest from UP. BSP’s Kadir Rana, Kaiser Jahan lost the polls while Barq lost as the SP candidate. Tabassum changed sides and her son Nahid Hasan lost as SP candidate. In Rampur, which is the home district of SP leader Azam Khan, party candidate Naseer Ahmed Khan, BSP’s Akbar Hussain, Congress’s Nawab Kazim Ali Khan lost to BJP’s Dr Nepal Singh.
At Sambhal, SP’s Barq, BSP Aqeelur Rehman Khan lost to BJP’s Satyapal Singh. Barq polled 3.55 lakh votes but lost by 5,174 votes. Another Muslim candidate in Sambhal Aqeelur Rehman Khan got 2.62 lakh votes resulting in division of votes.
Muslims votes were also divided at Moradabad where SP’s S T Hasan, Congress’s Begum Noor Bano, BSP’s Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, Peace Party’s Mohammad Irfan lost to Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar of the BJP.
In Meerut, SP’s Shahid Manzoor, BSP’s Shahid Ikhlaq and Congress’s Nagma lost to BJP’s Rajendra Aggrawal. At Domariyaganj, Peace Party chief Mohammad Ayub and BSP’s Mohammad Muqeem lost to BJP’s Jagdambika Pal. In Shrawasti, SP’s Atiq Ahmed and Peace Party’s Rizwan Zaheer lost to Daddan Mishra of BJP. In Gonda, BSP’s Akber Ahmed Dumpy and Peace Party’s Masood Alam Khan lost to BJP’s Kirtivardhan Singh. At Amroha, SP’s Humera Akhter, BSP’s Farhat Hussain lost to BJP’s Kunwar Tanwar Hussain. Qaumi Ekta Dal’s Mukhtar Ansari lost polls from Ghosi and his brother Afzal Ansari lost from Ballia.