13 candidates are in fray from Muradabad Parliamentary constituency, including ex-BJP MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar, Congress candidate revolutionary poet Imran Pratap Garhi, ex-Mayor Dr ST Hasan and Nadir Ali Mansoori.
According to Deccan Herald, BJP candidate Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar said that it is going to be difficult to retain Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency for BJP. The party is in a direct contest with Congress due to consolidation of Muslim votes ahead of the April 23 election. Muslims are about 47 per cent of the total 19.41 lakh voters in the constituency.
BJP fielded Kumar, a Thakur, against Congress’s Imran Pratapgarhi, a poet who has often questioned the BJP government through his provocative compositions and fiery speeches.
SP-BSP-RLD coalition’s S T Hasan, a doctor by profession, is also trying to win over the Muslim votes.
Muslims have not yet disclosed their support, political observers say they often decide their support during last three days of campaigning.
According to PTI Kumar, a political strongman, well-known in the area, is unsure about his re-election. He said, “The election is going to be difficult.”
Apart from Muslims, Jatavs, who have traditionally supported the BSP, constitute 9 per cent of the total voters.
Since 1952, Muslim candidates have won the seat 11 times out of 17.
While, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh had won the seat twice and the BJP had its first victory in 2014. A division of Muslim votes between Hasan and Haji Mohammad Yaqoob had helped BJP win the seat. If SP and BSP’s votes for 2014 were to be combined, they would have defeated the BJP by a margin of over 75,000 votes.