Has the BJP succeeded in wooing Muslim voters in the recently held MCD elections 2017 whose results were announced on April 26? Looking at the results as all BJP’s five Muslim candidates contesting from Muslim dominated localities of Delhi lost the answer certainly is no.
But a closer look at MCD data available online throws some interesting facts and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Muslims did vote for BJP’s candidates in Delhi.
It is another story that none of them could win their seats.
The biggest surprise came from Zakir Nagar from where BJP’s Kunwar Rafi, a Jamia Millia Islamia alumnus, stood third in the race getting 1,959 votes. He was just behind AAP’s Mehmood Ahmad who got 9,700 votes with Shoeb Danish winning for the third time bagging 10,759 votes.
Kunwar, 37, ran his campaign in the locality to get the mess fixed.
The other surprise came from Quresh Nagar ward with 52-year-old Rubina Begum getting 6,830 votes. Begum comes from a political family. The winner Shaheen polled 9,409 votes.
“Begum’s father was Delhi metropolitan council member (equivalent to an MLA today) when Delhi was not a State. Before her mother, her brother Ismail was a councillor in 2007-12. We are hardworking grass-root party workers and have got the ticket. The family’s good work is the reason for the exception,” said her relative Haroon Ismail as reported by HT.
In Delhi Gate, BJP’s candidate Faimuddin Saifi, who runs a steel business, failed to win but managed to get 3,204 votes with Congress Aaaley Mohammed Iqbal winning and the AAP’s candidate standing second ahead of the BJP candidate with only a few votes.
Another BJP’s candidate from Mustafabad 42-year-old Sabra Malik got 7,187 votes. A mother of five she was the only Muslim woman in the BJP to contest election. Known till recently to help her husband dismantle scrap outside their home, though Sabra didn’t win she succeeded in getting a respectable total.
It was in Chauhan Bangar that BJP’s Sartaj Ahmad didn’t do well as he ended up getting a few hundred votes.
Also, BJP’s backed candidate in Abul Fazal Enclave Gulfam Saifi failed to impress anybody ending up with small number of votes.
As the days pass and data is further studied more details into Muslim voting patterns in Delhi will surface. Some political observers do feel that some Muslim youths are getting attracted towards the BJP as they strongly feel that other political parties did nothing to address their concerns.
A total of 14 Muslim candidates won across all three municipal corporations. The skeptic would point out that as most of the BJP’s Muslim candidates lost deposits in their respective wards Muslims are have rejected the party.
They might be right but have left many surprised is how some candidates succeeded in getting more than thousand votes in Muslim-dominated localities, showing a beginning of Muslim voters attachment towards BJP.
DISCLAIMER: The report is based on data available online