Gujarat elections: Muslims account for 10% population but have just 2 MLAs

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on December 9 and 14. However Gujarat assembly has seen a sharp dip in Muslim representation over the last three decades, thanks to the religious polarisation in the state.

As reported by News18, Muslims account for 10% of the state’s population, but only two people from the minority community were elected as MLAs in the 182-member Assembly in the 2012 elections. This amounts to just 1% of the total legislative strength.

Despite substantial Muslim population, minority candidates were given few tickets by both Congress and BJP over the years.

Since 1980 there has been a sharp fall in Muslim representation in the Assembly. In 1980, 17 Muslim candidates were in the electoral fray, out of which 12 entered the Assembly. In the 1990 elections, only 11 Muslim candidates were given tickets and three of them won. In the 2012 assembly elections, only five Muslims were in the fray, out of whom two were returned to the House by the electorate.

Today, Ahmed Patel, senior Congress leader and close aide of party Chief Sonia Gandhi, is the only Muslim MP from Gujarat. While there is no Muslim representation from Gujarat in the current Lok Sabha.