Only 24 out of 78 Muslim candidates won; Declining representation in Lok Sabha

78 Muslim candidates who7 contested the 2024 Lok Sabha elections across the country, only 24 managed to win, a number that has been dwindling over the year

In 2019, only 26 Muslim candidates were elected as Members of Parliament, four each from the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, three each from the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, and one each from the Nationalist Congress and the Communist Party of India.

This year, Congress candidate Imran Masood won by a margin of 64,542 votes from Saharanpur, while 29-year-old Iqra Chowdhury, a Samajwadi Party candidate from Kairana, defeated BJP candidate Pradeep Kumar by a margin of 69,116 votes.

In Ghazipur, Samajwadi Party’s Afzal Ansari won by one lakh votes more than BJP’s Pars Nath Rai, while AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi won his Hyderabad seat from his closest rival, B. JK’s Madhavi retained by a margin of 3,38,087 votes over Lata Kombella. In Ladakh, independent candidate Mohammad Haneefa won by a margin of 27,862 votes, while another independent candidate Abdul Rashid Shaikh, engineer Rashid, won by 4.7 lakh votes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency.

In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party’s Mohipullah won Rampur by 4,81,503 votes and Zia ur Rehman Sambal by a margin of 1.2 lakh votes. National Conference Party’s Mian Altaf Ahmed won by a margin of 2,81,794 votes against former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Anantnag-Rajori constituency of Jammu and Kashmir. In Srinagar, National Conference Party candidate Agha Syed Ruhullah Mehdi secured 3,56,866 votes.

In West Bengal’s Baharampur constituency, first-time cricketer Yusuf Pathan stunned Congress veteran and six-time MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary by a margin of 85,022 votes. In Sandeshkali’s Pasirhat constituency, Trinamool Congress’s Haji Noorul Islam defeated BJP’s Rekha Patra by a margin of nearly two lakh votes. In Uluberia too, Trinamool Congress’s Sajda Ahmed defeated BJP’s Arunuthai Balchowdhury by a margin of two lakh votes. In Jangipur, Trinamool’s Khalilur Rahman defeated Murdoja Hossain Pokul of Congress by a margin of 1 lakh votes. Trinamool Congress dominated in Murshidabad, with Abu Tahar Khan edging CPM’s MD Salim by a margin of over one lakh votes. In Maltaha West constituency, Congress’s Isha Khan Choudhary defeated BJP’s Srirupa Mitra Choudhary by a margin of 1.2 lakh votes.

In Lakshadweep, Congress’s Mohammad Hamdullah Saeed defeated Nationalist Congress Party’s (Sharad Chandra Pawar) Mohammad Faisal PP by a margin of just 2,000 votes.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate Navaskani also won in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram. In Kerala’s Ponnani, IUML’s MP Dr Abtussamath Samadhani defeated CPI(M)’s KS Hamza. He defeated the Shailaja Teacher of the Communist Party of the Marxist-Leninist Party by a margin of one lakh votes in the Shabi Baram of the Congress in North Bank. IUML also won Malappuram constituency where ET Mohammad Basheer defeated CPI(M)’s V Wasif by a margin of 3 lakh votes.

In Bihar, Congress’ Tariq Anwar won Katihar, defeating United Janata Dal’s Dulal Chandra Goswami by nearly 50,000 votes. In Kishanganj, Congress’ Mohammad Javed defeated JT(U)’s Mujahid Alam by nearly 60,000 votes.

Badruddin Ajmal lost to Congress’ Ragibul Hussain in Assam’s Dhubri constituency, a bastion of the AIUDF.

This year, the BSP fielded the highest number of 35 Muslim candidates among all parties. Over half (17) of these are in Uttar Pradesh, four in Madhya Pradesh, three each in Bihar and Delhi, two in Uttarakhand, and one each in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Telangana and Gujarat.

Next is the Congress, which has fielded 19 Muslim candidates, six from West Bengal, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and UP, one each from Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Telangana and Lakshadweep. The Trinamool Congress has fielded the third most Muslim candidates in this election, with a total of six, five of them in its home state of Bengal. It has also fielded a Muslim candidate in Assam.

Among the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim candidates, three contested from UP and the fourth from Andhra Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party fielded a Hindu candidate, Ruchi Veera, without fielding Moradabad’s SD Hassan, one of UP’s Muslim MPs.

Apart from Jammu and Kashmir, maximum number of Muslim candidates contested in UP (22), followed by West Bengal (17), Bihar (seven), Kerala (six) and Madhya Pradesh (four). In terms of the share of Muslims in the population, Assam has three Muslim candidates as against four Muslim candidates last time.R

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