Gujarat elections: Muslim votes elude Muslim candidates

Muslims make up 9.67% of Gujarat’s population but Muslim candidates managed to garner only 2.37% of the total valid votes polled in 2012.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Updated: November 22, 2017 8:27 am
Muslim votes in Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 Gujarat elections have traditionally had a low count of Muslim candidates (File Photo)

Gujarat elections have traditionally had a low count of Muslim candidates, and even these have managed to poll, on an average, a fraction of the votes of the community they have sought to represent. Muslims make up 9.67% of Gujarat’s population but Muslim candidates managed to garner only 2.37% of the total valid votes polled in 2012.

In terms of average votes polled, a Muslim candidate polled an average 3,394 votes while a non-Muslim candidate polled 18,158, which is 6 times higher. The gap narrowed when Muslim candidates had the backing of the Congress. The Congress’s seven Muslims in 2012 polled an average 57,930 votes while its other 169 candidates polled an average 60,764.

Part of the reason would be that there were few Muslim candidates (192 out of 1,666) to claim those votes, apart from the fact that not all Muslims would have voted on the basis of religion alone.

Social activists say besides communalisation in Gujarat, there is also a sense of anger against the community leadership for failing to make themselves relevant. “Muslims have expectations but the present political leadership of the community has failed to live up these expectations,” Gujarat-based social activist Zakia Soman said. “This leadership has not been able to engage in the political process to highlight issues of the community the way it should. This is one reason why you may not see the community rallying behind its leaders as they used to.”

Muslim candidates’ performance in 2012 was slightly better than in 2002 and 2007, when they managed only 1.40% and 1.89% of the total votes polled. Even in the 1990 election, when the BJP was first making an impact in Gujarat, Muslim candidates drew only 2.67% of the votes.

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  1. A
    Nov 23, 2017 at 3:42 pm
    This is what congress created for india, nobody sees merit , how many patels, how many dalits, how many muslims. Nehru premi secular dhongis want any school fail to become MLA no matter how many farmers doing suicide, how many kids are sleeping hungry. Congress created naxals to win power in central india through barrel of gun, then 3 crore tribals became homeless and jobless migrating to cities running from naxal areas. It doesnt matter how many muslims or buddhists got seat, humanity and merit are not selective characteristics
    1. R
      Nov 22, 2017 at 10:26 pm
      A close fight in the offing. This time, voting will take place on the basis of economics and development. Usual poll-tricks like vote-bank politics based on caste/creed/religion may not work any more. Voters are no more naive.
      1. G
        Nov 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm
        its not 9 its around 7 .
        1. S
          Nov 22, 2017 at 10:31 am
          bjp is a curse. they have created lawlessness in country. mla mp are openly bought by money from ambani adani while poor lost their jobs. there is so much unemployment but bjp and sanghis getting rich. politics is criminalized openly and ppl are feeling insecure. the pm and ministers are incapable and just doing fake advertisments with bikau media. poor and common ppl will throw modi bjp and sanghi in coming elections.
          1. K
            Nov 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm
            Abe h Porki, note bandi mein bahut nuksaan hua hai kya ???
            1. K
              Nov 22, 2017 at 4:11 pm
              not h but k#a#t#u#a#h
          2. R
            Nov 22, 2017 at 9:09 am
            Comparing Gujarat and UP i snot good enough. Now compare them with Kashmir, Kerala and local Hyderabad what happen when muslim voters are able to elect their own based on religion! There so called 'secular' parties like congress/comunists disapper and only muslim parties start winning be it NC,PDP,AUDF or ML/PDF.,AIMM etc. So congress/communists only serve as 'useful id!0ts' to halt nationalists until muslim parties can do it on their own! All this analysis is not based on logic, especially 'sharia' logic! Where are communist parties in Bangladesh or Pakistan? Selfish caste based Hindu g00ns like Lallu,Mulayam,Momota,Pawar,TRS party, DMK or now new goons trying to do the same dominant caste muslim vote bank in Gujarat it is Hardik trying that experiment and in Karnataka congres is trying to create one using 'lingayats' telling them they are not Hindus as they are major backers of BJP. Muslims have to blame them-self too for such act sacrificing development to tactical voting!
            1. H
              Nov 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm
              Hey Ram ... you have spoken the truth !
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