The well-known nemesis of vote bank politics is once again on the top of priority list of these parties in the Lok Sabha elections. Facing its toughest test since emergency, the Congress can salvage its pride and even win a good number of seats in the LS polls if the Minority voters (especially Muslims) unitedly vote for them.

All the parties baring right wing outfits are paying bows to the Imams and the Ulemas in a bid to check the division of Minority votes. They are all staking their claims on the Muslim vote bank.

Besides Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), several other regional parties are also trying their best to project themselves as the biggest well-wishers of the Muslim community.

They are leaving no stones unturned in showcasing the work done by them for the Muslim community. They are trying to woo the Muslims by instilling fear of Modi in their minds.

Even BJP is not immune to polarising voters in the name of religion.

Going by the trends of Muslim voters affecting the electoral prospect in the country, it becomes pretty clear that in around 35 Lok Sabha constituencies, their presence is more than 30 percent. On 38 seats, the percentage of Muslim voters is around 20 to 30 percent and in 145 seats, they comprise 10 to 15 percent. Around 183 seats have five to ten percent Muslim voters.

Clearly, the Muslim voters are considered to be deciding factor on around 200 LS seats. In an attempt to gain an upper hand over the Muslim vote bank, Congress president Sonia Gandhi rallied around Jama Masjid imam Syed Bukhari, who urged Muslims to vote for the grand old party. However, this appeal was termed as a pre-planned deal between the Imam and Congress by Bukhari’s brother.

Sonia Gandhi herself played the Minority card, reminding Muslims of the repercussions if Modi came into power.

Uttar Pradesh, which has maximum numbers of Lok Sabha seats (80), faces the fiercest slugfest for Muslim votes as all the parties are resorting desperate measures to catch the attention of this community.

SP chief Mulayam Singh is once again banking on his old MY (Muslim-Yadav) equation in the general elections as he is aware that the Muslims are unhappy with the way UP government handled the Muzaffarnagar riot case. SP is promising reservation to the Minorities if they come in power amidst a host of other sops.

BSP supremo Mayawati has also taken the support of Muslim leader Tauqeer Raza Barelvi, who has a strong influence in western UP, in order to stake her party’s claim on Muslim votes.


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