It appears out of the ordinary in Madhya Pradesh politics that the number of elected Muslim Memebers of Legislative Aseembly is only one. No one can deny the fact that their count has seen a declining trend after the year 1962. But in the past few years, as many as 7 Muslims were Members of Legislative Assembly.
Bhopal North and Burhanpur constituencies have a significant Muslim population, if we carefully look at the 2011 census. It also gives us information about the total of 47 lakh Muslim population in the state. Despite such numerical facts, there is a paucity of Muslim leaders’ representation in that part of the state.
The irony is that neither the BJP nor the Congress have shown promptness in fielding Muslim candidates in the Assembly elections. The popular Muslim leaders lack magnetism that can fetch votes on the secular contour in the election-bound state.
The condition has worsened so much that the Bhartiya Janata Party has fielded only one 78-year-old candidate from Bhopal North constituency. Maybe there is a feeling that if the Muslim candidate gets a ticket, his candidature will not benefit the political party. But the advantage overtly or covertly goes in favour of the BJP in the elections. This can be attributed to the changing political atmosphere in the last many years.
Although the BJP condemns Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party for siding with the minorities, particularly the Muslims, yet this stark reality holds no value in comparison the factual ground facts. There is no marked difference in politicians’ thinking about Muslim candidates.
Muslims comprise 6.5% of the state’s total population. The Congress party has fielded Arif Aquil from Bhopal North, Arif Masood from Bhopal Central, Majid Khan from Rewa, Firoz Ahmed from Mudwara and Yusuf Kadapa from Jaora Assembly seats.