About eleven percent of the population of the Indian state of Gujarat consists of Muslims but since 1998, there is no representation of Muslims in the cabinet of the state government. According to Kashmir Media Service, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been ruling the state since 1998 and since then there has been noMuslim minister in the state. The number of Muslims is about 11 percent and their presence is significant in about 25 assembly seats. The sole Muslim member to contest in the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat was 24 years ago while the last time the Congress fielded 10 or more Muslims in Gujarat Assembly polls was in 1995.
For the upcoming polls, the Congress has six Muslims among the 140 candidates it has nominated so far and there isn’t a single one among the BJP’s 166. There is sharp fall in Muslim representation in Gujarat Assembly as compared to 1980 when Muslim representation in the Gujarat Assembly stood at 10 percent In 1980, a dozen Muslim candidates won and entered the Legislative Assembly. Three Rajya Sabha MPs from Gujarat were also from the Muslim community. In 1990, three Muslims won while only 11 Muslim candidates got tickets. The total number of Muslim MLAs in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly was only two in 2012, compared to five in 2007 and three in 2002.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP