In 2012, 69 Muslim MLAs became members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. However, after the 2017 assembly election results were announced yesterday, it has been noted that only 24 Muslim MLAs have made it to the legislative assembly. This is a reduction of nearly 66%, which is a worrying development for secular forces in the State. It may be recalled that Muslims account for nearly 19% of the total population in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Experts say that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to read the minds of people in Uttar Pradesh, many of whom were not happy with the aggressive nature of Muslims in certain areas of the State. It may be recalled that BJP had not fielded even a single Muslim candidate in the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. This may have helped the party to consolidate the Hindu votes and register a massive victory in UP.
On the other hand, the SP-Congress alliance seems to have failed in its calculations of selling the idea of secularism. One of the main reasons for the SP and Congress alliance was to consolidate the Muslim votes, but reverse polarization among Hindus seems to have worked in favor of BJP.