After Congress' loss in Haryana and Maharashtra, which was not unexpected, a lot of things were analysed but an important aspect was not mentioned.
I don't see anyone discussing the trend of Muslims' voting pattern--not considering Congress even as second or third option. Did you notice the recent voting trend in Haryana? More than 52% Muslims voted for INLD, 27% to other parties and JUST 16% MUSLIMS voted for Congress in Haryana.
We will delve into the statistics, the trend, reasons and implications too. But do remember that this happened in Haryana, not a state like Maharashtra where Muslims have severe issues with Congress or UP-Bihar.
In states like Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Muslims are considered traditional Congress voters. But if just one in six Muslims are voting for the Congress, it is not ordinary.
This is alarming for the party, as even after BJP's victory in Lok Sabha, and the supposed feeling among large sections that Muslims tend to vote for Congress to keep BJP away from power, the minorities didn't vote enthusiastically for Congress.
First, let's see the Muslim majority constituencies in Haryana, from where Muslim contestants got elected to the Assembly. The trend is same at all these seats. It seemed Muslims didn't want to vote for Congress, at all.
In Ferozepur Jhirka, most of the Muslim electorate didn't even think of voting for Congress candidate, who faced the humiliation of coming fifth, after two independents who got more votes than him.
Still, such is the situation! INLD's Naseem Ahmed won the seat by securing 40,000 votes.
Independent M Khan came second with 37,000 votes, followed by another independent Aman Ahmed who got 18,000 votes. BJP's Alam too got 16,540 votes. Congress' Azad Mohammad got just 15,943 votes.
In Punahana, such was the disenchantment with Congress that its candidate was no where in the race. While Independent Raees Khan got 34,000 votes, INLD's M Ilyas came second with 31,000 votes.
Even BJP's Iqbal Bhai got double the number of votes secured by Congress' Muslim candidate. Iqbal got 25,135 votes while Congress' Subhan Khan got 12,809 votes to come fourth.
He convincingy defeated the Congress candidate, getting more than double the votes polled by him.
Hussain got 64,000 votes whilge Congress' Aftab Ahmed secured merely 31,000 votes.
Clearly, this is a major trend. If it is happening in a state like Haryana, you can imagine, how serious is Muslims' disenchantment with Congress.
Also, we will discuss Maharashtra in later posts. But this is pan-Indian phenomenon. There are several reasons. The two seats to MIM in Maharashtra got excessive focus in the media.
Reality is Muslims will vote for anyone other than Congress--from INLD to SP-BSP, AAP [as in last Delhi elections] or even Independents. It is not about going for a Muslim party because of choice, but because of 'majboori'.
heightened disenchantment of Muslims with Congress were not analysed properly.
What about Sachar panel, Caste-based reservation demand, prison population!
1. Muslims voted for any party or candidate other than Congress. For the last 10 years, UPA was in government, but did it act on Sachar panel's recommendations. Congress did nothing about the Communal violence bill.
2. The presidential ordinance that bars Muslim and Christian Dalits from reservations was enforced during Congress rule, and despite vehement protests and demands to bring these communities in the ambit of caste reservations, UPA didn't act in 10 years.
3. Did it do anything about the fact that more than 35% inmates in jails in Maharashtra were Muslim, a vast number among them, under-trial prisoners. It gave the impression that it is pro-Muslim, but it shied from taking any step that would be seen as 'appeasement'.
4. It fell in a 'secular trap'. Congress has lost Dalits in UP-Bihar-MP-Chhattisgarh and many other states. It also lost tribal vote. Muslims are now forced to vote for it in exceptional circumstances, only in a few states.
5. They don't at all think of the party in UP. However, Congress refuses to learn. It feels Muslims will keep on voting for it. It forgets that Muslims want nothing, just basic respect and a bit of listening and action on their just demands.
6. The most basic thing is to ensure that there is no communal riot and the expectation that government would take action against those involved in excesses, torture or violation of human rights. On the contrary, there are killings--firing on the chest, riots, and yet, no stern action.
CONGRESS-ruled states were WORSE than BJP-ruled STATES IN tackling COMMUNAL RIOTS, KILLINGS in last couple of years
7. Congress talks of Gujarat carnage, which Muslims haven't forgotten, but it easily forgets that in the last couple of years, the worst killings of Muslims took place during Congress regimes, which haven't been forgotten either.
8. Assam repeatedly burnt and the horrific killings in BTAD, led to nationwide outrage but Congress couldn't stop it timely. No action was taken against Chief Minister. The same had happened earlier in Gopalgarh killings in Rajasthan. No action was taken against CM.
CHECK THIS LINK: ASSAM riots 2010, more than 50 killed
9. In Maharashtra, the Dhule killings, were treated as non-issue by ruling Congress. Just that we can't forget. The issue of non-implementing Sri Krishna panel report of Mumbai riots, has been repeatedly mentioned on this blog.
10. Once again, I would have to say that the situation in Maharashtra was such that Congress' mis-rule have now prepared the Muslims for the worst situations. Jo hoga jhelengu but you go now. In 1992-93, the Mumbai riots were during Congress regime, not Sena-BJP rule.
Lastly, I am not at all a BJP fan. But if you [Congress] are sincere, do introspect, accept your failures and work to ensure for providing a life of safety and dignity to people, who vote to you to power. You feel Muslims have no option, because if they vote for non-Congress candidate, their vote will get wasted.
Ok, we will waste the vote, but won't give it to you*. That's perhaps, lot of us feel today.
EARLIER POSTS ON THE SAME ISSUE
If you want to understand the context, the reasons for anger,desperation and disgust among Muslims, you should read these posts.
2. An Indian Muslim's letter to Congress leadership: I am not a BJP supporter but glad to see Congress lose
[Percent of Muslims who voted for Congress obtained through CSDS survey. Published in Indian Express.]
[*Congress will get vote when it acts like Congress, work on the ideology of a real centrist party, as per the aspirations of the early leaders. More on this later]