Assembly Elections in Five States – Muslim Representation Goes Up
A total of nineteen Muslim MLAs have been elected in four states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. Elections were also held for Mizoram, a state where the Muslim population is almost nil. Of the 19, eight MLAs were elected for the Rajasthan and Telengana Assemblies each. In Madhya Pradesh, the number of Muslims elected has gone up from previous one to two this time. Here is a state-wise situation report:
Rajasthan: The Muslim representation went up from two members to eight in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly in the just concluded Assembly election. The previous house had two Muslim MLAs, both from the BJP. Of the eight, seven belong to the Congress, while the remaining one has won from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Elections were held for 199 seats.
The seven Muslim Congress MLAs are: Rafeek Khan from Adarshnagar, Hakam Ali Khan from Fatehpur, Kaman from Zahida Khan, Amin Kagzi from Kishan Pole, Shale Mohammad from Shale, Danish Abrar from Sawai Madhopur and Ameen Khan from Sheo. The lone BSP member Wajib Ali represents Nagar.
The BJP had fielded Yoonus Khan, a former minister in the state, against Sachin Pilot from Tonk. Pilot won by a margin of 54,179 votes. It was for the first time that Pilot contested the Assembly elections in the state from where he had been an MP in the Lok Sabha. Of the 199 seats, the Congress won 99 seats. Of the 14 Muslims from the Congress in the fray, seven could make it to the winning post.
Significantly, India’s first Cow Welfare Minister from Rajasthan Otaram Devasi lost election to the Rajasthan Assembly from Sirohi. He was defeated by a margin of over ten thousand votes by independent candidate Sanyam Lodha.
Telangana: In Telangana, the Muslim representation remained the same, i.e., eight, in the 119-member Assembly. Of these, seven belong to the Majlis-e Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) while Shakil Aamir Mohammed won on the ticket of Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The MIM had fielded eight candidates in what is considered a friendly contest with TRS. The seven winning MLAs are Md. Moazam Khan from Bahadurpura, Akbaruddin Owaisi from Chandrayangutta, Mumtaz Ahmed Khan from Charminar, Kausar Mohiuddin from Karwan, Ahmed bin Abdullah Balala from Malakpet, Jaffar Hussain from Namaplli and Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri from Yakutpura. The MIM had fielded its candidates from eight constituencies but its candidate from Rajindernagar lost.
Of the total 119 seats, the TRS won 88 seats while the Congress bagged 21 seats. The Congress had an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Communist Party of India. The TDP could win only two seats, while the BJP, which had five MLAs in the previous house, was reduced to a single this time.
Madhya Pradesh: Two Muslim MLAs were elected for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly in the just-concluded election. It is after 33 years that the house has two Muslims in the state Assembly. Muslims constitute around 5% of the population in the state. The MLAs who won this time are Arif Aqueel from Bhopal North and Arif Masood from Bhopal Central, both on Congress tickets. Since 1998, Arif Aqueel was the lone Muslim face in the house.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, Aqueel defeated BJP’s Fatima Rasool with a margin of 35,000 votes, while Masood won from Bhopal Madhya constituency by defeating BJP’s Surendranath Singh with a margin of 15,000 votes.
There were a total of four Muslim candidates in the fray from the BJP and the Congress, two men and two women. Congress had given ticket to three Muslim leaders, including a woman, Masarrat Shahid, from Sironj seat who failed to win, while the BJP fielded only a single Muslim, Fatima Rasool.
The Congress, having won 114 seats in the 230-member house, has formed the Government with support from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) who have won two and one seats respectively. The BJP which, ruled the state for three terms, could win 109 seats.
Chhattisgarh: The only Muslim who could reach the Chhattisgarh Assembly is Mohammed Akbar from Kawardha seat in Kabirdham district, who trounced his BJP rival Ashok Sahu of the BJP with a margin of over 59,000 votes, the largest in the state. Akbar received 136,320 votes. The Congress had fielded just two candidates, while BJP had none.
In the 90-member house, the Congress has captured 68 seats, while the BJP, which had ruled the state for three terms, could retain only 15 seats. The Janata Congress, the new party floated by Ajit Jogi, who split off Congress some time ago, bagged five seats.