Muslims in Gujarat: 10% population remains without any ministerial representation since 1998

JUNAGADH, GUJARAT, INDIA – JANUARY 17: Muslim selling vegetables from carts in the street in the Junagadh city in the Gujarat state in India, Junagadh in January 17, 2015

Almost 10% population of Gujarat from a community remains without any ministerial representation in the government. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been ruling Gujarat since 1998 and since then it hasn’t had a Muslim minister.

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

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.

For the upcoming polls, the Congress has six Muslims among the 140 candidates it has nominated so far and there isn’t a single one among the BJP’s 166. 

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.

In 1980, a dozen Muslim candidates won and entered the legislative Assembly. Three Rajya Sabha MPs from Gujarat were from also the Muslim community. Analysts say that it happened because former chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki successfully introduced his KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Ahmed Adivasi, Muslim) electoral arithmetic.

In 1990 three Muslims won while only 11 Muslim candidates got tickets.

The total number of Muslim MLAs in Gujarat Legislative Assembly was just two in 2012, down from five in 2007 and three in 2002.

The Congress gave Muslims just five tickets in the 2002 election. Since 2002, the Congress’s distribution of tickets to Muslim candidates has never exceeded six. 

In the 2012 Assembly polls, only five Muslims competed for seats.

In the 2017 elections, just three Muslim MLAs, all from the Congress party, had won.

Muslim representation in state Assembly.

1980 – 17 Muslims in the fray, 12 won

1985 – 11 Muslims stood for seats, 8 won.

1990 – 11 Muslims entered fray, 2 won.

1995 – 1 Muslim stood and won.

1998- 9 Muslims stood for election (including 1 from BJP who lost), 5 won.

2002 – Six Muslims entered fray, three won.

2007 – Six Muslims stood, five won.

2012 – Five Muslims stood, two won.

2017 – Six Muslims stood, three won