- Muslims are expected to vote enmasse for the SP in this election
- Although, Owaisi pulls huge crowds and is quite popular among the youth of the community
- Muslims are considered to be the second largest religious bloc
UP Assembly Elections 2022: The Election Commission has announced the dates and all the political parties have started flexing their muscles in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finalised its candidates for 172 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and is likely to field both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who are currently members of the Legislative Council. The party's seat-sharing talks with Apna Dal (S) and Nishad party are also in final stages.
As far as the non-BJP parties are concerned, all eyes are on the Muslim votes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. A large chunk of these votes has been with the Samajwadi Party but the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress have also got a small share while the AIMIM is the new contender on the block.
How the community voted in previous polls?
The Muslims are expected to vote enmasse for the SP in this election but it never happens as the community is influential in 143 seats in the state. In 2007 the community voted largely for the BSP, in 2012 it was with the SP but in 2017 it got divided between the SP, Congress and the BSP.
AIMIM - New contender on the block
AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi pulls huge crowds and is quite popular among the youth of the community. He says, "Muslims now want their share in the power setup. Every community has some share in power but Muslims have been deprived and now face discrimination."
The Muslim factor in UP polls
The Muslims are considered to be the second-largest religious bloc and rough estimates are that their population is 20 percent but in the 2017 elections the Muslims were divided and the BJP riding on Hindutva consolidation backed by social engineering swept the polls. Despite its huge population only 23 MLAs were elected in 2017 while the highest number was in 2002 at 64.
Districts like Rampur, Farrukhabad and Bijnor are the areas where the Muslim population is around 40 per cent. As per rough estimates out of 143 seats in the state, there are about 73 seats where the Muslims are believed to be between 20 to 30 percent and about 40 seats where the Muslim population is more than 30 percent.