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Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
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AHMEDABAD: In Limbayat assembly seat in Surat district, Muslim voters face a problem of plenty. Comprising 27% of the total electorate, the minority community has the option to choose from as many as 36 Muslim candidates. Out of a total 44 candidates in the fray from this seat, the minority representation is over 80%.
This election, there is an unusual dash to contest assembly polls from seats that have a significant Muslim vote share. In Bapunagar constituency in Ahmedabad, of the total 29 contestants, 10 are Muslim candidates; the seat has 28% Muslim votes. It was carved out after the 2012 delimitation and had elected a Congress MLA.
Similarly, Vejalpur seat, which includes the largest Muslim ghetto of Juhapura, has a 35% Muslim vote share. Here, nine of the 15candidates are Muslims, all contesting as Independents.
In the upcoming assembly polls, there are few Muslim candidates fielded by major political parties. While BJP has not given a ticket to any Muslim, Congress has given tickets to six, AAP to three and AIMIM to 13 contestants.
In such a scenario, while the rush to contest polls by Muslims as Independents is obvious, the participation is rather overzealous in six seats where Congress has fielded Muslims. On four of these seats, more than half of the candidates are Muslims.
Take Surat (East), where Congress’s Aslam Cyclewala faces stiff competition from his own Muslim community as 12 of the total 14 candidates are Muslims. The seat has 22% Muslim votes.
In Dariapur constituency in Ahmedabad, which as 46% Muslim votes, five of the total seven contestants in the battlefield are Muslims. Congress’s Gyasuddin Sheikh won this seat in 2017 by less than 5,000 votes.
Muslims are majority voters in Jamalpur-Khadia, where Congress’s Imran Khedawala is seeking his second term. He is facing seven rivals, of which four are Muslims. Bharuch’s Vagra is no different with six Muslim candidates contesting out of total nine. In this seat, which BJP won by 14,000 votes, Congress has fielded Suleman Patel.
Besides, there are seats like Godhra and Bhuj where Congress has not fielded a Muslim candidate but the community’s votes matter. BJP’s C K Raulji had won Godhra with a wafer-thin margin of 258 votes in 2017. Of the 10 candidates each on both seats, half are Muslims.

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