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HomeNewsMuslim vote exploitation formula finalised by SP-INC

Muslim vote exploitation formula finalised by SP-INC

The community accounts for 19% of Uttar Pradesh’s population; their voting pattern would decide the outcome of 20-50% of the Lok Sabha seats in the state

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The Samajwadi Party-Indian National Congress (SP-INC) seat-sharing agreement for the Lok Sabha elections has raised hopes in the alliance that it will strengthen Muslim votes and strengthen the position of the INDI alliance in at least 24 Muslim-influenced constituencies out of the total of 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Muslims account for 19% of Uttar Pradesh’s population and their voting behaviour is likely to decide the outcome of 20-50% of the seats, that is 24 Lok Sabha seats with a Muslim population. That is why the Muslim factor played an important role in formulating the alliance.

How BJP wins even in Muslim-dominated seats

The leaders of both parties knew that the split in Muslim votes would benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won Muslim-influenced seats including Rampur, Sambhal, Amroha, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bijnor and Nagina, which were once strongholds of the SP and INC.

In 2019, the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance won 15 seats in Uttar Pradesh, mostly in Muslim-influenced west Uttar Pradesh, including Bijnor, Amroha, Moradabad, Rampur and Sambhal.

This time, BSP chief Mayawati has decided to contest the elections alone.

The Muslim reach of the INC and the Samajwadi Party grew during the Uttar Pradesh tenure of the INC. Both the Uttar Pradesh leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the SP’s PDA Yatra travelled through Muslim-influenced districts of West and central Uttar Pradesh.

Leaders of both parties found collaborators by way of Muslim clerics and influential Muslim community members in the Rohilkhand region.

But Muslims are not enough

The SP-INC alliance is expected to gain the support of Muslim votes as well as OBC, Kurmi, Shakya, Saini, Maurya and Kushwaha voters. The SP has released three lists of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. Out of the 32 candidates announced so far by the SP, 18 are OBCs. SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary said the PDA formula of the party will ensure its victory.

The SP-INC alliance hopes to gain an edge in the Etawah-Mainpuri belt, known as Yadav Bhoomi. Lok Sabha seats in the region dominated by Yadavs and Muslims include Firozabad, Kannauj, Etawah, Mainpuri, ETA, Farrukhabad and Mathura.

In 2019, the SP won in Mainpuri but Shivpal Yadav’s rebellion tarnished its prospects elsewhere. Now with Shivpal and the INC coming together, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav hopes to regain his lost land in the region. Perhaps this is why he commented, ” end well to all well.”

However, the alliance is worried that Mayawati will not spoil the game. Her decision to contest elections alone could lead to a triangular contest and split anti-BJP votes.

Though the BSP’s strength has declined in successive elections, it has the support of the Jatav community. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP won 10 seats under the Dalit-Muslim formula.

Mayawati will play spoilsport, feel poll pundits

Political observer Badri Narayan is sure the INC-SP alliance will get a large share of Muslim votes. He says Muslim votes will be tilted also towards the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BSP has decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections alone and it will, he feels, surely break into the Muslim vote base of the SP and the INC. He says Mayawati will field Muslim candidates in Muslim-influenced seats and the BSP’s Dalit-Muslim formula will cut the SP-INC vote base.

In 2019, the BSP won in Saharanpur, Amroha and Bijnor.

According to Professor Manoj Dixit, vice-chancellor of Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner, the votes of the SP and the INC are not transferable. This was evident in the 2017 assembly election as the SP-INC alliance failed to stop the BJP from seizing power.

Professor SK Dwivedi, former head of the political science department at Lucknow University, said the SP will have to give a large part of the tickets to OBC, Dalits and Muslims.

The Muslim-influenced Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh are

  1. Saharanpur (29.6% of Muslim voters)
  2. Muzaffarnagar (27%)
  3. Bijnor (28%)
  4. Nagina (28%)
  5. Moradabad (28%)
  6. Rampur (42%)
  7. Sambhal (22%)
  8. Amroha (32%)
  9. Meerut (23%)
  10. Sitapur (24%)
  11. Kairana (23%)
  12. Bareilly (23%)
  13. Pilibhit (19%)
  14. Shahjahanpur (21%)
  15. Bahraich (23%)
  16. Shravasti (28%)
  17. Dumriyaganj (26%)
  18. Lucknow (23%)
  19. Kanpur (19%)
  20. Bulandshahr (19%)
  21. Baghpat (18.8%)
  22. Ghaziabad (16%)
  23. Aligarh (19%) and
  24. Azamgarh (16%)


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