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World

AFP
May 25, 2019

Indian elections 2019: Muslims in 543-strong Lok Sabha

World

AFP
Sat, May 25, 2019

The Muslim candidates couldn’t register an impressive run in the India’s parliamentary elections as only 27 of them could make it to the 543-strong parliament – however four more than the number of Muslim members, 23, in the last parliament.

The Bharatiya Janata Party once again got a resounding victory in the general elections - it grabbed over 300 seats. However, none of the six Muslim candidates it fielded could succeed in the polls. In 2014 also, no Muslim candidates of BJP could taste victory.

Of the 27 successful Muslim candidates, there are only two women.

It was in 1980 when the Indian parliament had the highest number of Muslim MPs, i.e. 49, according to the Indian media. Of them, 30 Muslims MPs belong to the Congress under Indra Gandhi’s leadership.

Last year, eight Muslims were polled into the 17th Lok Sabha [or House of the People i.e. the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament] from west Bengal with considerable Muslim population. However, the number slumped this time round to six, including two Muslim women – one of them is Nusrat Jahan Roohi.

The Muslim representation was also witnessed go down in other states, including Kerala and northeastern state of Assam. Three Muslim MPs were elected from Kerala and two from Assam. Founder All India United Democratic Front Maulana Badruddin Ajmal bagged his seat from Assam but his other seat slipped from his hand this time round.

However, northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with huge Muslim population, reversed its past trend as six Muslims emerged victorious in the Lok Sabha elections unlike zero representation in the past. One of them is Azam Khan, a Samajwadi Party leader, who drubbed BJP's Jaya Prada.

Muslim candidates who made their way to the Lok Sabha include Bahujan Samaj Party candidates Afzal Ansari from Ghazipur, Fazalur Rahman from Saharanpur and Danish Ali in Amroha, and Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan from Rampur, Shafique Rehman Barq from Sambhal and ST Hasan from Moradabad.

Another Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, got three MPs elected, all from the National Conference. Bihar had sent four Muslim MPs to the Lok Sabha in 2014. However, the number has fallen to two from the community this year.

Among other high-profile successful Muslim leaders include National Conference's Farooq Abdullah and AIMIM's outspoken chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Imtiaz Jaleel of the Hyderabad based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimee was declared winner from Aurangabad and Muhammed Sadique of the Congress was voted into the parliament from Faridkot, Punjab.

In Maharashtra, only one Muslim MP was elected. Mohammed Faizal of the Nationalist Congress Party got elected from the lone seat in Lakshadweep.  Also, the Indian Union Muslim League candidate, K Navas Kani, became an MP from Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.