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Overview of voting trends of Muslims in Bihar election 2020

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The results of the Legislative Assembly Election of Bihar were declared on November 12, 2020. After the numerical see-saw, which was continued through the day, Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) managed to win a total of 125 seats in the 243-member State Assembly. At the same time, the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance gave it a tough competition and managed to win 110 seats. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged 74 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC) got just 19 seats. However, this article focuses on winning candidates from average, significant and the majority Muslim population of various constituencies in Bihar.

The major religion in Bihar is Hinduism which is practiced by 82.7 % of the population. At the same time, Islam constitutes the second-largest religion in Bihar. According to the 2011 Indian census, 17,557,809 Muslims constituted 16.9 % population of the State and which is more than the average national population of the community. The Muslim population plays an important role in every Indian election, whether it is the National or State level. The following study explains the voting trend of the Muslim community in Bihar Elections.

Following are the election results of those constituencies where the Muslim population is more than 50 %. (Majority)

Table no 1

As per the above results (Table1), only Muslim candidates have won the election where the constituency has more than 50% Muslim population. In some constituencies, it is observed that the non-Muslim candidate secured second place due to split in Muslim votes. In Kishanganj constituency, due to Muslim votes split within two Muslim candidates, non-Muslim candidate Sweety Singh lost the election by only 0.8% fewer votes. It was the only Muslim-majority constituency where non-Muslim candidate had a chance to win the election due to a split in Muslim votes. If the AIMIM candidate had got more than 1% of the vote of the Congress candidate, then Sweety Singh could have won the election from Kishanganj, where the Muslim population is 60.57 %. By looking at the results of the above constituencies separately, it is also observed that the sum of the vote percentage of Muslim candidates received is almost equal to the percentage of Muslim population in respective constituencies.

Following are the election results of those constituencies where the Muslim population is ranges from 30% to 50 % (Significant)

Table no 2

According to the above results (Table 2), it is observed that all Muslim candidates secured the second position where the Muslim population ranges from 30% to 50%. The above results are also showing that in some constituencies, there is a minimal difference in the vote percentage of the winning and runner-up candidates. In Dhaka constituency, Pawan Kumar Jaiswal has defeated Faisal Rahman by only 3.1 % more vote. In Pranpur constituency, Nisha Singh has defeated Tauquir Alam by only 1.49 % more vote. It is also observed that the sum of the vote percentage of Muslim candidates received is equal to or more than the Muslim population percentage of respective constituencies.

Following are the election results of those constituencies where the Muslim population ranges from 15% to 30% (Significant)

Table no 3

Looking at the results (Table 3) of the above constituencies separately, the sum of the vote percentage of Muslim candidates is clearly more than the Muslim population percentage of respective constituencies. Out of these nine constituencies, Muslim candidates have won in five. This means that these five candidates have received Muslim as well as non-Muslim votes, although the constituency did not have a Muslim majority population.

Following are the election results of those constituencies where the Muslim population ranges from 0% to 15% (Average).

Table no 4

Looking at the results (Table 4) of the above six constituencies, it is seen that two Muslim candidates have won the election while four Muslim candidates have secured the second position although Muslim population is not significant. In Arrah constituency, Amarendra Pratap Singh defeated Kaumuddin by only 1.88 % more votes, though the Muslim population percentage is 10.97 %. Similarly, in Nathnagar constituency, Ali Ashraf Siddiqui defeated Lakshmi Kant Mandal by 3.97% more votes, though the constituency has a Muslim population just 9.17%. Here also, Muslim candidates have received Muslim as well as non-Muslim votes, although the constituency did not have a significant Muslim population.

Conclusion

Looking at the overall trend of Muslim voting, one can conclude that no non-Muslim candidate can win elections from constituencies where the Muslim population is more than 50%. One can also conclude that, at the time of voting, Muslim voters are giving priority to Muslim candidates first and then to the ideology of the political party. In four of ten constituencies where Muslim population is more than 50 %, Muslim voters have not voted those political parties who called themselves as secular. In these constituencies, Muslims voted All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), which is the political party based on Islamic ideology. These results may encourage the remaining political parties to allow only Muslim candidates for every election if the Muslim percentage in the respective constituency is more than 50%.

At the same time, it has been observed that from the above overall data, non-Muslim communities are not giving priorities to the religion of the candidates at the time of vote like Muslims. The Muslim candidates have won the election from those constituencies where the Muslim population ranges from an average to significant. In eight of such 23 constituencies, Muslim candidates have won the election. The election result of Nathnagar constituency is one of such examples where Ali Ashraf Siddiqui got 40.41%, and Lakshmi Kant Mandak got 36.44 % vote although the Muslim population is just 9.17% in the constituency.

It has been also observed that in several constituencies, non-Muslim candidates have not got the vote at least equal to the per cent of the non-Muslim population of respective constituencies. Finally, by observing the overall data, one can conclude that non-Muslim votes are divided into Muslim and non-Muslim candidates while Muslim votes are only divided among Muslim candidates. May be due to such voting trend, the Muslim factor plays an important role in every Indian election.

References

https://results.eci.gov.in/

https://www.censusindia.co.in

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