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Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for North Indian Muslims minus UP and Bihar


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The India Observer, TIO: In the five-part series of the voting choices before the Muslims in India, this second write-up looks at the political scenario in the five North Indian states and two Union Territories.  The summary is the BJP is not getting more than 17 Lok Sabha seats out of a total of 45 seats in the north Indian region.

The north Indian region as a matter of convenience comprises two Union Territory; Ladakh and the Union Jammu and Kashmir; the five states; Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Haryana, and Delhi.

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The breakup of the LS seats are as follows; Ladakh 1, Jammu and Kashmir 5, Punjab 13, Haryana  10, Uttrakhand 5, Himachal Pradesh 4, and Delhi 7.

The political choices before the Muslims in the north Indian region differ greatly from those in the south. The challenge before them is to dent the BJP’s electoral supremacy in these north Indian regions and how they will do it, is left to the community.

Ladakah: There are 46% Muslims in Ladakah mainly concentrated in the Kargil region.  They hold the balance of the political power in Ladkah.

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Even with such electoral strength, they cannot send a Muslim MP to Delhi because 40 % of Buddhists concentrated in the Leh region and 12 % of Hindus concentrated in the same region, gang up to triumph over the Muslims. As a result, the BJP has been winning the lone LS seat from Ladakh since its inception.

However, the 2024 Lok Sabha scenario in Ladakah is quite different. The Buddhists are fed up with the BJP’s chicanery and complain that the BJP’s central rule has colonial imprints. As such, the newly created Union Territory is going to witness a new political alignment where Muslims and the Buddhist alliance can upset the BJP’s fortunes.

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In this, the protest by Sonam Wanchuk can make a huge difference in turning the tide.  Thus the BJP is losing the lone LS seat in Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir: The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir now has five LS seats. There are three seats in the Kashmir valley; Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag.  In the Jammu division, there are only two seats; Udhampur and Jammu. The combined Muslim population In Jammu and Kashmir is 68.3 percent. In Kashmir Valley, Muslims are 96.41 percent and in the Jammu division, they are 7.03 percent.

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As a result, the three LS seats in the Kashmir valley will go to Muslims and more precisely to the National Conference, an alliance partner of the INDIA block.

In the Jammu division, two Lok Sabha seats always go to the BJP. However, after the abrogation of Article 370, in 2019 and making the J&K state into a Union Territory, the political scenario has changed significantly even in the Jammu division. People there are not happy with the BJP rule from the center. It is apprehended that the two LS seats from the Jammu division may drift away from the BJP. The 7.03 percent of Muslims in the Jammu division can play a crucial role in this political heist.

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Punjab: According to the 2021 Census Punjab’s population has Sikhs 57.69 percent, Hindus 38.49 percent, Muslims 1.93 percent and Christians 1.26 percent. The battle for the 13 LS seats will see a contest between the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal, the Aam Admi Party, and the BJP. After the farmer’s agitation that started early in 2024, the political scenario has changed in Punjab. The Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP alliance have witnessed a split. The 38.49 percent of Hindus are favoring the AAP and not the BJP.

The situation for the BJP has worsened after the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.  The AAP supporters are not going to vote for the BJP.  It will be an interesting contest to watch, how SAD, AAP Congress, and BJP will fare in this election in Punjab. In 2019, Congress won 8 seats, Shiromani Akali Dal 2 seats, BJP 2 seats, and AAP 1 seat. In this background, a layman’s guess is, that the Congress may win 9 seats, SAD 2 and AAP, and the BJP one seat each. In the final analysis, neither the SAD nor the AAP will join the NDA, and for them, the only option is to join the INDIA alliance.

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Haryana:  There are 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. The key political parties in Haryana are the ruling BJP, the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal, the Aam Admi Party, the Sarvahit Party etc. In the 2019 election, the BJP won all 10 LS seats in Haryana. However, in 2024 the political situation is different. The farmer’s agitation and the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are going to be a factor in the Haryana election.  The AAP and INLD will likely gain in the 2024 LS election.

Muslims in Haryana account for 7.03% of the population. They will play an important role in the 2024 election. The events in Gurgaon and Mewat that echo Muslim persecution are fresh in their memories. It’s a fight for Muslim’s survival in Haryana. They must vote for the regional party in alliance with the Congress. The expectation is the BJP tally may drop from 10 to 5 seats and the 5 seats gain will to the Congress.

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Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh has 4 LS seats. The main political parties in Himachal Pradesh are the INC and the BJP. The BJP won all 4 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 election in Himachal Pradesh.

The Muslim population in Himachal Pradesh is only 2.18 percent or 1.50 Lakhs out of a total of 68.65 Lakhs people in the state. The anti-incumbency factor can bring a change in Himachal Pradesh. In this perspective, the Muslim votes can strengthen the Congress party. There can be a surprise in Himachal Pradesh and the BJP bastion could be dented.

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Uttarakhand: There are 5 LS seats in Uttarakhand and all were won by the BJP in the 2019 LS poll. The runner-up was the INC. Here Muslims are 13.95 percent of the population. Their actual figure is 14.07 Lakhs of the total 1.01 crore people. Uttarakhand has become a highly communalized state since the BJP is in power. The Muslims even though in significant numbers are constantly persecuted in Uttarakhand. This time Muslims have to vote in a consolidated manner to strengthen the Congress’s fortunes. Hopefully, the anti-incumbency factor combined with a Muslim surge in favor of the Congress can dent the BJP fort.

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Delhi: The national capital has 7 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP won all 7 seats in the last national election. The situation in 2024 is different after the arrest of the AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. Even though Congress is a much weaker party in Delhi now its leader Ajay Makhan can make a difference.

In Delhi-NCR, the Muslim population is 12.86 percent. Their actual strength is 21.59 Lakhs of the total 1.68 crore population of Delhi. If their vote remains undivided and goes in favor of the Congress, the BJP’s fortress can be dented. It will be an interesting battle to watch how Muslims can throw their electoral weight around and change the 7-0 result that is in favor of the BJP in the Parliamentary election of 2024.

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Conclusion: In the final analysis, it can be said the BJP out of 45 seats in the north Indian region can get no more than 17 LS seats. The breakup is as follows; 2 from J&K,  1 from Punjab, 4 from Himachal Pradesh, 5 from Uttarakhand, and 5 from Delhi, a total of 17 seats. The possibility is the Congress-led alliance may increase its tally in the north Indian region and the BJP tally may go further down from its previous performances.

Also Read more from this Author: Reflection on Indian Muslims – Present Grim Future Tense

Edited By Adam Rizvi

Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

Articles written by contributors have different viewpoints. The views expressed in the articles are the author’s own and not necessarily supported by TIO, The India Observer its affiliates, staff, or the management. Our Articles can be reproduced, with the following conditions, (1) No alteration to the content, (2) Visible, and full credit is given to the Author & Editor. (3) Citing, The India Observer, TIO. In the case of online or electronic media, a link to the original article must be given. Rules are strictly enforced. Any questions, email the Editor at: Mediaiss@gmail.com Or TheIndiaObserver@gmail.com

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Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a Sr.Journalist, Author based in Chennai, India. Writes frequently for the USA based News Portal, TheIndiaObserver. He is author of the book Soundings on South Asia, New Dawn Press (2005). He can be reached at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com or TIO, at Mediaiss@Gmail.com

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