Muslims in UP voted for SP-BSP ignoring Cong: Khurshid

Khurshid, who unsuccessfully fought from Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad, describes the election as an "unprecedented jolt" to Congress and Opposition parties and the results made the "aberration of 2014" when BJP managed a majority of its own, a first in 30

Muslims in Uttar Pradesh voted the SP-BSP 'Mahagadbandhan' in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections believing that even a vote for a promising Congress candidate would help the BJP and this has wiped out the entire list of "experienced and promising" leaders, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid says. 

In his new book 'Visible Muslim, Invisible Citizen: Understanding Islam in Indian Democracy', he says the larger picture of the election results will emerge in due course but the voting preferences of Muslims in different parts of the country tell "their own story of desperation and self-goals".

Khurshid, who unsuccessfully fought from Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad, describes the election as an "unprecedented jolt" to the Congress and the Opposition parties and the results made the "aberration of 2014" when the BJP managed a majority of its own, a first in 30 years, a "new normal" in 2019.

He came a distant third with just 55,528 votes (5.51% of 10.02 lakh votes polled), losing security deposit. The winner, BJP's Mukesh Rajput, garnered 5.69 lakh votes (56.82%) while Grand Alliance candidate Manoj Agarwal of the BSP got 3.48 lakh votes (34.72%).

"In general in UP, the Muslim vote made a beeline for the SP-BSP alliance in the logic that a vote even for promising candidates of the Congress was an invitation to the BJP," he says while claiming that this has left "established leaders of the community wondering about their future.

He goes on to add, "voting for the SP-BSP alliance to defeat the BJP, Muslims of UP succeeded in 11 out of 80 seats, but, in the process wiped out the entire list of experienced and promising Congress leaders."

Khurshid also finds not much confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks to newly-elected BJP MPs to puncture fear psychosis among minorities by saying that his government's mantra of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' (stand by all, development for all) will have an addition in 'sabka vishwas' (trust for all).

"Although minorities have found a crucial reference, the context was of false fear rather than legitimate grievance. It is another matter that at that very time, some innocent people were being ruthlessly assaulted for dealing in cows. The soft words of assurance will undoubtedly be tested against the ideological positions of the BJP. The poison injected into the system before and during the elections will need a yeoman effort to suck out," he says.

Comments (+)