Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why exit polls failed & Most Muslim MLAs ever in UP but not a single Congressman among them

The psephologists and the exit polls have once against lost credibility. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati emerged victorious on her own.

Time and again it has been proved that exist polls can't read the mind of Indian voter, who considers vote as his secret weapon and may not always disclose it to the pollster that for whom he has pressed the EVM button.

A Dalit who returns from the booth after voting for BSP may claim that he voted for BJP because he doesn't want to be identified as 'Dalit' and a Muslim might say that he voted for Congress though he hasn't voted for the party in decades. It is not as easy as UK or USA where there are at the most 2-3 parties and electorate are quite frank about their choice.

Here often the swing starts just a few hours before polling and entire 'biradiris' decide to vote en-bloc at the eleventh hour. And as I have humbly maintained again and again on this blog that psephologists have always been heavily biased against both SP and BSP who have mass base in rural areas compared to national parties.

Meanwhile, what about the Rahul Gandhi charisma. As many as 55 Muslims (or is it 56!) Muslims have won in the election for Uttar Pradesh assembly and not one of them is a Congressman. The TV channels were proclaiming that 'Muslims are returning to Congress in UP'. Now what? (I had written about reasons for anger of Muslims with Congress especially in UP here just a fortnight back).

Even in the last Assembly there were Muslim MLAs of Congress but not once this occasion. Of the 55-odd Muslims who won the break up is 28(BSP), 21 (SP), 3 (RLD), 1 (UDF) and 2 independents. The representation of Muslims in this assembly is highest ever in the history of the state and comes at around 13%, roughly the proportion of Muslims in India.

So many instances I remember about this anti-Congress mood which I gathered while speaking to Muslims, cutting across the cross-section before the results came (during my visit to UP). A youth astonished me by saying 'Congress to har*&zaadi hai, koi aaye Congress na aaye, chaahe BJP aa jaaye, khula dushman behtar hai, chhupe dushman se'.

Why the TV channels couldn't understand it or it was just plain hype created for Rahul Baba. Anyway. The fact is that Mayavati will now rule Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India with a population of 18-20 crore people. It is not that Muslims didn't vote for SP. They did vote but they also voted, though not overwhelmingly, for Muslim candidates of BSP. Of course, BSP had an edge when it started with a 22% Dalits who are its committed voters compared to 10-11% Yadavas. With shift of Brahmin votes, BSP clearly got the edge and also voters who were undecided sensed that elephant was ahead and voted for it.

For Muslims:

Good that Congress that has no administrative structure in UP remains out. The "communal" BJP and its boastful leaders have been cut to size.

So at least there would not be Hindu-Muslim tension, the Mandir-Masjid dispute and the riots. What I expect is that the law-and-order would be maintained and in a riot-free atmosphere, like all other sections of the society, Muslims should also earn their livelihood and aspire for good education and upliftment of their social status rather than looking for sops.

Poor Ajit Singh. It is a classic case of how he lost everything. His habit of changing allies spelt doom for him as he lost credibility with electorate. And Mr Bukhari. He should now understand that Muslims don't listen to him before they vote. Not a single Muslim candidate of UDF could win (except Haji Yaqub who has his own following and won due to the large population of the Qureshi biradari). Across the state the UDF put up candidates and at most places they couldn't must more than a few hundred votes.