According to 2011 census, Muslims are the biggest minority in Gujarat accounting for 9.65 per cent of the population. Despite this high representation, only two Muslims were elected as MLAs in the state assembly elections in 2012.
Considering that Gujarat has 182 assembly seats, and a high percentage of the population is Muslim, they should have more MLAs from the community. However, over the years, their numbers have only shrunk.
The Bharatiya Janata Party – which has been in power in Gujarat for last two decades – has shown little interest in being inclusive towards Muslims. The BJP fielded only one Muslim candidate in assembly elections in the year 1998. In the state assembly polls in 2012 or even before that in 2007 and 2002, the BJP did not field any Muslim MLA candidates.
Things weren’t different during the Congress era either. In the 1985 assembly elections, the Congress won a record 149 out of 182 seats, however, the number of Muslims MLAs in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha was merely seven.
The total number of Muslim MLAs in Gujarat Legislative Assembly was just two in 2012, down from five in 2007 and three in 2002.
In 2011, then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi tried an image makeover and launched Sadbhavna Mission to attract the minorities, however, the mission failed to translate into reality with the saffron party not fielding any Muslim candidate in the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections.
Seeking some “real Sadbhavna”, BJP Minority Morcha demanded several seats in the Gujarat Assembly Election 2017. However, when the final BJP MLA candidates’ list was released, not a single Muslim candidate’s name was nominated.
Explore TOI’s Interactive Election Results Hub to understand how Gujarat votes Source : timesofindia