An Analysis by Kashif Hoda (Muzaffarpur, Jamshedpur)
San Diego CA 92196
................ Read another analysis by Shakeel Ahmad
The result of Bihar assembly election came out yesterday. I did a simple analysis of the results to see where Muslims stand as a result of this election. I didn't have this analysis for last elections so can't really compare to other data. Out of total of 243 assembly seats 16 were won by Muslim candidates which comes out be 6.6% well below the 14% Muslim population of the representation. Total candidates in this assembly election were 2135 of which 235 were Muslims (11%) and they claimed 11.9% of total votes counted. So Muslim candidates contesting elections and the votes they are getting are somewhat closer to their actual numerical strength in Bihar. 38 Muslim candidates came second, I have not looked to see the difference in the number of votes between them and the winner. I did notice that in almost all constiutency where there is one Muslim candidate then there is high probability that there will be other Muslim candidates as well, which may suggest that there is a possibility that presence of other Muslim candidates may have cost some the election.
|number of votes (total)||23,552,288||2,797,146||11.9|
Then I looked at each party that gave tickets to Muslim candidates. Among major parties Congress and LJP came out as most favourable to Muslims with 23.5 and 20.8 percent of their candidates being Muslims. Other notables are RJD(14.9%), SP(14.3%) while numbers fall sharply for BSP(7.1%), JD(U)(6.5%). Communists also have dismal numbers when it comes to giving party tickets to Muslims with CPI at 5.7% and CPIML at 3.5% and CPM failed to find any Muslim candidate. BJP did find one candidate with a Muslim name which comes out to be 0.9% of the total BJP candidates who contested elections.
PARTIES THAT FIELDED MUSLIMS CANDIDATES
If look at the list of winning candidates we see that three parties have 4 Muslims candidates in their winners lists. Here too Congress presents a better picture with 4 out of its 9 seats being won by Muslims which means 44.4% of Congress MLAs are Muslims in this new assembly. Similarly 7.4% of RJD and 4.5% of JD(U) winners are Muslims. Other parties that returned one Muslim MLAs each are NCP, LJP, CPIML and one from Independent. AJVD, BJP, BSP, CPI, CPM, and SP have no Muslim MLAs among its ranks.
Election commission doesn't collect data on Candidates religion, so I looked at each candidate name and try to guess if they are Muslim. I admit that this is not a very scientific way of doing it but it is not possible to interview each candidate and in that part of the world name can tell us about the religion of the person.
Having a Muslim chief minister or increasing the number of MLAs will not change the condition of Muslims in Bihar, but this analysis is important to see that Muslims are the part of the political process and not being left out of this democratic exercise. If there is enough interest then I can go back and do the same for earlier elections.