Monday, May 5, 2014

How did the muslims vote?

The general trend in times of extreme peril is to vote for the Congress- as one voter in Axom says, it is almost second nature for muslims to vote for the GOP. This makes sense. If the Congress collapses there is no national party which will carry the muslim vote. That will be perilous for the muslims (and dangerous for India as well).  

As Hasan Suroor explains in the Hindu, voting for a secular party does not have too much appeal for conservative muslims and there is a pent up demand to have their own party. This would be of course a daughter of the erstwhile Muslim League which expired once Pakistan was born. The problem with this approach is that a nation-wide muslim party will not fly (yet) and lead to more divisions and in-fighting.

In a nutshell if a right-wing nation-wide muslim party does materialize, Congress will vanish and BJP will become the natural ruling party of India.

Here are then the trends of muslim voting in select states.

Maharashtra: a meeting convened by former MLA Yusuf Abrahani before the last phase of Maharashtra polls, Muslim NGO representatives decided Muslims should vote for Congress-NCP . "CM Prithviraj Chavan assures he will address demands. Delegates took home the message that they have to set aside their grouse against the Congress," says Abrahani. "In all Muslim-majority pockets in the state, the community voted single-mindedly to stop the Modi wave," says Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi of All India Ulema Council, one of several socio-religious groups that helped decide how the community votes.
 In the 2009 elections in Aurangabad, where Muslims constitute 3.5 of 14 lakh voters, a BSP Muslim candidate took away 32,000 votes, helping Shiv Sena's Chandrakant Khaire win.

"This time the community closed ranks and voted en bloc for Congress candidate Nitin Patil," Aurangabad-based activist Mohsin Khan says. That candidates don't share their religion hasn't deterred Muslim voters. In Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, the community didn't back Mumtaz Ansari (BSP) and Jalal Ansari (AAP), voting instead for Congress' Vishwas Patil. Activists claim that apart from Medha Patkar in Mumbai North East, no other AAP candidate in Maharashtra has got a sizeable number of community votes.

Bihar: ....organizations like Jamiat Ulema, Imarat Shariah, Momin Conference , Jamiat-ul-Quraish and Milli Council appealed to the community to vote for a strong, secular candidate. Community leaders claim that Bihar's 14 electoral constituencies, with 20% to 68% Muslim population, ignored appeals by Shahi Imam (Congress supporter) and Shia cleric Maulana Kalb-e-Jawwad (Congress detractor) and went with advice doled out at local mosques.  Maulana Muzaffar Raza, a Shia cleric in Patna city, says the biggest concern for Muslims is to stop Modi. "Muslims are not scared of Modi. They hate him," he says.

In 2009, NCP candidate Tariq Anwar had lost from Muslim populated Katihar, Bihar despite having 2.55 lakh votes. With three other Muslim candidates together bagging over one lakh votes, a BJP candidate took the seat. It was the same story in Bihar's other Muslim constituencies, which is why this year JD(U) candidate Akhtarul Iman, pitted against sitting Congress MP Asrarul Haq in Kishanganj , withdrew his candidacy. It left the party red-faced but sent a strong signal to the community . "I preferred to sacrifice myself to check the division," Iman says. 
  Axom: 2011, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by businessmanturned-politician Badruddin Ajmal wrested 18 assembly seats from Congress in Assam's Muslim constituencies. This year, as the Congress mobilizes the Muslim electorate to ensure the vote isn't split, Ajmal too pledges support towards their plans.
Fear of being branded 'illegal immigrants' is a major driver for Assam's Muslim population — 30% of 1.88 crore voters — to support Congress. This is despite the fact that the party failed to protect or ensure justice for them after one of the nation's worst pogroms in 1983. Mohammed Nurul Islam from Alisinga, one of the 14 Muslim villages where riots occurred, claims the village votes as one. "Perhaps it has become our habit to vote for Congress," the 65-year-old says. Abdul Karim, 60, who also survived the massacre, explains, "The party takes heed of our concerns even if it does not fulfill all our demands." Many of these Muslims feel more secure with Congress than BJP, which has made Bangladeshi influx a rallying point in electoral campaigns.
Delhi: ......have seen potential in AAP. Locals from Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave say they voted for AAP to rid the community of the 'terror' tag. "BJP leaders have declared us terrorists and Congress has done nothing for us," says Rehan, a student from Jamia Milia Islamia.

In Seemapuri, a Muslim area dominated by ragpickers , AAP scored big during the assembly elections and is expected to sustain this lead. The area, which had an 80% voter turnout in 2009 and has always voted Congress, understands neither AAP nor Congress gain from a split vote. "Divided we fall. Our consolidated vote has to go to either party, or BJP wins," Gulzar Saifi of New Seemapuri says.

Bengal: Muslim majority districts like Malda, Murshidabad and North and South Dinajpur have generally voted Congress. In parts of Bengal with a 15 to 35% Muslim population, the vote is split between Trinamool Congress, Congress and CPM. 
 In the last assembly polls, a large section of Bengal's Muslims voted for Trinamool but are dismayed by Mamata Banerjee backtracking on promises. "Muslims here have seen through her symbolic gestures like wearing a stole 'hijab' . Nothing substantial has been done for our betterment," says lawyer Sagir Ahmed though other Muslim locals pledge support for Didi. The Urdu/ Hindispeaking Muslims, in pockets of Malda, adjoining Bihar, and Kolkata, lean towards Trinamool as the party supports local recreational clubs, which are strong influencers in their areas. "Mamata's official doles to the clubs will translate to votes for Trinamool ," says Mohammad Sohail Beig, secretary of Haji Nurul Islam Charitable Trust that operates in Muslim areas of Metiabruz and Garden Reach.




No comments:

Post a Comment