As for the Congress, it’s not just in UP that Muslims
rejected it, even in the Muslim majority seat of Malerkotla in Punjab they preferred to go with Akali Dal. In UP, the
Congress’s magic mantra of ‘quota within quota’ clearly flopped, so much so
that Union law minister Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid trailed fifth
from the Farrukhabad constituency. Salman Khurshid had risked the Election Commission
wrath for enhancing this quota during aggressive campaigning.
While the outgoing assembly had 55 Muslim legislators — the
highest since independence — the minority is no longer so in the newly-elected
assembly, which has a record 66 legislators. Political analysts believe that
Muslims overturned results in as many as 136 seats, with the main contenders —
the SP and the BSP — fielding 85 Muslims each, while the Congress giving
tickets to 59 Muslims. The BJP had fielded a lone Muslim candidate, Shakeel
Alam from Sahaswan in Badaun district, who had to forfeit his deposit.
The 2012 results are being seen as en-masse endorsement of
the SP and a rejection of Congress and small ‘Muslim’ parties by the Muslims in
The Peace Party has won just four seats, while Rashtriya
Ulema Council has drawn a blank. Shazil Islam Ansari, the lone winner from
Ittehad Millat Council, was the wakf minister in the Mayawati ministry but
denied a ticket by the BSP.
Secretary general of Welfare Party Dr SQR Ilyas told DNA
that the Muslim vote played a crucial role in SP’s overwhelming victory.
Explaining reasons for this shift, Dr Ilyas said the Muslim youth were being
targeted in the Congress-ruled states even as Mayawati let loose a wave
harassment. Also, Muslims have rejected the caste-based politics propagated by
smaller Muslim political parties and instead exhibited unity by voting for SP
While professor and political analyst Dr Zahid Ali Khan of
the Aligarh Muslim University
said it was for the first time that the community overwhelmingly supported a
single party, general secretary of All-India Milli Council Dr Manzoor Alam said
the results were a warning for the Congress “The BSP neglected Muslims in a
planned way in all spheres. Like other parties, it wanted to win over Muslims
just on security issue,” said Alam
As for the reasons why Muslims rejected the Congress, Alam
said it was mainly because the party continued targeting Muslim youth in terror
“The Congress played a double game, it must appreciate that era of tokenism is over,” he added.