NEW DELHI — Congress made a major comeback in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. While the grand old party is all set to make government in the Hindi heartland, it was the regional parties that did the damage for BJP, which was unable to win the public support, unlike half a decade back, when the Modi wave was at its peak.
Interestingly, in these five states, Muslim candidates fielded by both the Congress and the regional party have fared relatively well. A total of 19 Muslim candidates have been voted as MLAs. Rajasthan and Telangana had eight Muslim representatives each elected, while MP had two and Chhattisgarh had one, voted to power in the 2018 Assembly polls. The statistics are way better than that of 2013 state elections.
Of the 19 Muslim MLAs elected, 10 are from Congress, one from BSP and TRS respectively and seven from AIMIM. In Rajasthan where Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 99 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly, around seven Muslim contestants are elected defeating BJP candidates while one from BSP defeated the Samajwadi Party’s candidate. Congress had fielded 15 Muslim candidates in the state.
“Winners Amin Kagzi and Rafeek Khan break the myth that Muslims can’t win elections from Jaipur seats. A good omen,” noted retired professor, Mohammad Hasan from Jaipur.
BJP suffered its biggest defeat under Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in this election. BJP had 163 seats in the outgoing assembly which reduced to 73 seats, while the Congress has improved its performance and has gone up from 21 to 99.
Muslim candidates in Rajasthan:
|Adarsh Nagar||RAFEEK KHAN||Congress||BJP|
|Fatehpur||HAKAM ALI KHAN||Congress||BJP|
|Kishan pole||AMIN KAGZI||Congress||BJP|
|Sawai Madhopur||DANISH ABRAR||Congress||BJP|
In Telangana, Muslim representation in the Assembly remained unchanged.
AIMIM managed to keep its grip on regional politics. In alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Akbaruddin Owaisi’s AIMIM repeated the history in assembly elections. Here, seven Muslim candidates from his party got elected in the state’s capital.
Performance-wise Akbaruddin Owaisi was re-elected from Chandrayangutta constituency for the fifth consecutive time. He defeated Shahejadi Sayyad of BJP by a margin of over 80 thousand votes.
Out of 8 Muslim candidates elected in Telangana, 7 are of AIMIM and one is elected on TRS ticket. The Congress fielded seven candidates including two outside Hyderabad but none could win
In the 119-member Assembly, TRS won 88 seats and lost only two seats in comparison to its performance in 2013, where it had won 90 seats. In Telangana, Congress had to be content with them winning 19 seats.
Muslim candidates in Telangana:
|Bahadurpura||MOHD. MOAZAM KHAN||AIMIM||TRS|
|Bodhan||SHAKIL AAMIR MOHAMMED||TRS||Congress|
|Charminar||MUMTAZ AHMED KHAN||AIMIM||BJP|
|Malakpet||AHMED BIN ABDULLAH BALALA||AIMIM||TDP|
|Yakutpura||SYED AHMED PASHA QUADRI||AIMIM||Majlis Bachao Tehreek|
In Madhya Pradesh, two Muslim candidates are elected as MLAs defeating BJP. Both were fielded by Congress. In MP’s 230-member Assembly, Congress won 114 seats while rival BJP secured only 109 seats under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had been in power for three consecutive terms.
Muslim candidates in Madhya Pradesh:
|Constituency||Muslim Winners||Party||Defeated Party|
|BHOPAL MADHYA||ARIF MASOOD||Congress||BJP|
|BHOPAL UTTAR||ARIF AQUEEL||Congress||BJP|
In Chhattisgarh’s 90-member Assembly, Mohammad Akbar got elected as the lone Muslim winner. He too defeated BJP’s Ashok Sahu with margin of 59,284 votes.
Congress won 68 seats while BJP was reduced from 49 to 15 seats, thereby making it possible for Congress to topple BJP, which had been in power for the last 15 years.
Besides these four, the fifth state Mizoram gave the mandate to Mizo National Front (MNF), which won 26 seats in 40-member Assembly.