Friday, June 14, 2024

Imran Khedawala: Lone Muslim MLA in 182 member Gujarat Assembly

Number of Muslims in 182-member Gujarat Assembly dropped from three to one as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) set record win in the Gujarat assembly elections on Thursday.

The BJP did not field any Muslim candidates and the opposition Congress fielded six, of whom one, Imran Khedawala secured a win.

The Congress’s Khedawala beat the BJP’s Bhushan Ashok Bhatt by about 13,658 votes in Jamalpur-Khadia constituency.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded four Muslim candidates and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) fielded 14, all of whom lost.

Muslims account for roughly 11 per cent and have a sizeable presence in around 25 Assembly seats.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been ruling Gujarat since 1998 and since then it hasn’t had a Muslim minister.

The sole Muslim member to contest in the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat was 24 years ago while the last time the Congress fielded 10 or more Muslims in Gujarat assembly polls was in 1995.

There is sharp fall in Muslim representation in Gujarat Assembly as compared to 1980 when Muslim representation in the Gujarat Assembly stood at 10 percent, which was equivalent to the size of the minority community.

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