Muslim leaders struggle to understand how BJP won in minority-dominated UP seats

Muslim women line up at a polling booth in Varanasi during the seventh and final phase of the Uttar Pradesh polls on March 8. Despite not having put up a single Muslim candidate, the BJP has now indicated that it would accommodate minority candidates in government.

Deoband was considered a Muslim stronghold that would be impossible for the BJP to breach because of the minority community’s perceived dislike of the saffron party.

But when assembly election results for Uttar Pradesh started pouring in last Saturday, the home of one of the world’s most-respected Islamic seminaries became the first seat the BJP won en-route its landslide victory in India’s largest state.

Deoband wasn’t the only one. The BJP won 62 of 82 constituencies where Muslims comprise a third of the population, triggering speculation that pockets of the minority community had voted for the saffron party.

But clerics and Islamic bodies analysing the results say the answer is far more complicated: A mix of a split in the Muslim vote and many in the community voting for the BJP, notwithstanding directives by local elders and leaders.

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Source By http://www.hindustantimes.com

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