Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for the Muslims in Maharashtra and Goa

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The India Observer, TIO: In the series of articles on the voting choices of Muslims in India, this is the eighth write-up that looks at the political scenario of Maharashtra to submit the voting options for Muslims for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Maharashtra- There are 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharastra, the second-highest Parliamentary constituency in India after Uttar Pradesh.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for the Muslims in Assam 

The Muslim population in Maharashtra is 11.56 percent. They have a decisive role to play in 14 of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. The Congress-NCP combine has been the natural choice for Muslim voters, however, after the emergence of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA and AIMIM, the political front Muslims have got a new option in Maharashtra with the baggage to split their votes.

Muslim presence is strong in the six constituencies of Maharashtra— Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai North East, Mumbai North West, and Mumbai North.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for the Muslims in West Bengal and Orissa

Besides, Thane and Bhiwandi have a sizable Muslim population. Muslims have a significant presence in constituencies like Aurangabad Parbhani and Latur in the Marathwada region, Dhule in Khandesh-North Maharashtra, and Akola in Vidarbha region. But the irony is the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance currently controls all these seats.

It is to be noted that Muslims are significantly present in many districts of Maharashtra; Malegoan 78.95 percent, Bhiwandi Nizampur 56.1 percent, Parbhani 41. 25 percent, Bid 40.63 percent, Achalpur 39.51 percent, Udgir 33.41 percent, Nanded Waghala 33.59 percent, Dhule 31.58 percent, Aurangabad 30.79 percent, Akola 29.93 percent, Jalna 27.34 percent, Osmanabad 25.85 percent, Bhusawal 24.40 percent, Latur 23.95 percent,  Amravati 23.73 percent, Nandurbar 21.43 percent, Sangli Miraj Kupwad 21.11 percent, Greater Mumbai 20.65 percent, Solapur 20.64 percent among others.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for the Muslims in Rajasthan

Political Scene in Maharashtra- In the 2019, election the United Sena was an ally of the BJP that fought against the united NCP and the Congress alliance. Uddhav Thackeray who later became unhappy with the BJP walked out of the coalition and joined the Congress-NCP alliance.

 This triggered a political upheaval in Maharashtra. Later, the BJP engineered a split in Shiv Sena and brought in Eknath Shinde to lead a faction of Shiv Sena. The saffron party gave its political support to the Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Similarly, the BJP was also instrumental in splitting the NCP and supported the faction led by Ajit Pawar.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for the Muslims in Bihar and Jharkhand

The current political lineup in Maharastra is Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, and Ajit Pawar’s NCP and the BJP are on one side. While Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), the Congress and the NCP are on the other side.  The third force in Maharastra is Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) and AIMIM, combined.

Maharastra is a crucial state for the BJP in the national calculation to cross the 400 mark, in the 2024 LS election. In 2019 BJP had won 23 seats on its own in Maharashtra. However, its 2024 performance of getting even 23 remains a question mark. At stake is Eknath Shinde’s political heist that he did in Shiv Sena and now seeks its approval from the electorates. The same story is repeated in the NCP camp where Ajit Pawar faces the electorate seeking approval of a political heist. The future of both Eknath Shinde and Ajit Pawar rests on PM Modi’s charisma, as they expect him to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh

Muslims in Maharashtra have only two choices, one is the Congress Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (Pawar) alliance and the other is the VBA and AIMIM alliance.  The concern is how Muslim votes may not get split between the two choices to the advantage of the BJP.

In the last assembly election, Muslim representation in Maharashtra has gone up from 9 to 10 and this could have been more if Muslim votes were not split.

 It’s an irony that some 12 percent of Muslims are made irrelevant in Maharashtra politics.  That too in 14 out of 48 Parliamentary constituencies they have a decisive role to play.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Poll 2024 – Voting Choices for North Indian Muslims minus UP and Bihar

Muslims need a huge education in the electoral game of democracy. Political empowerment of Muslims in India can only be possible if they play the game of politics to the full of their potential. Muslims in Maharashtra have to seek their inner strength and vote for the winning candidates among the choices they have.

There are 2 Lok sabha seats in Goa.

Goa – There are 2 Lok sabha seats in Goa. They are split in North Goa and South Goa.  Hindus constitute two-thirds, Christians one-fourth, and Muslims a little less than a tenth of the State’s population. Overall Muslim Population in Goa is 8.33 percent.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Electronic Voting Machines and India’s Quest for Free and Fair Elections

Traditionally, north Goa, where Hindus constitute 76% of the population, has been a bastion of the BJP, while south Goa, where the Hindu numerical dominance is much lower and Christians form 36% of the population, has been more inclined towards the Congress. Muslims too are more in the south (10%) than in the north (7%). In both regions, Muslims have been traditionally more supportive of the Congress. The South Goa seat always goes to a Christian because Muslims join them to make it 46 percent to edge out the BJP.

In the 2019 LS election, the North Goa seat went to the BJP’s candidate Shripad Naik while the South Goa seat went to INC’s Christian candidate, Francisco Sardinha.

Going by the previous electoral performance, in the 2019 LS poll, the BJD won 12 seats, the BJP 8 seats, and the Congress one seat. In 2014, the BJD had won 20 seats, the BJP just one seat. In the 2024 election, it will be an advantage for the BJD that increase its tally from 12 to 14 seats, while the BJP may come down to 10 seats. It won’t be a surprise, if Congress may snatch one seat from the kitty of the BJP or the BJD.

Also Read more from this Author: Indian Muslims have to make choices, says Author Zia-U-Salam

Edited By Adam Rizvi

Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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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 or TIO, at

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