Out of the 115 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the third phase of elections on April 23, over 30 constituencies spread across Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal have substantial Muslim population while Christians have large population in the two seats of Goa and several Kerala constituencies.
The highest concentration of Muslims is in Assam’s Dhubri (67.4 per cent) and Malappuram (68 per cent) in Kerala. From Dhubri, All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) chief Badruddin Ajmal is seeking re-election. Mallapuram is considered a bastion of Indian Union Muslim League(IUML).
Assam’s Barpeta has Muslim population of 52 per cent, Gauhati has 25 per cent and Kokrajhar 21 per cent — all these seats will see polling on Tuesday.
In Bihar, two out of five seats going to polls have Muslim population — Araria (41 per cent) and Supaul (18 per cent). Supaul is witnessing a contest between Dileshwar Kamat of Janata Dal (U) and Ranjit Ranjan of the Congress who will be banking on ‘MY’ (Muslim-Yadav) factor. In Araria, BJP’s Pradip Kumar Singh is taking on Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Sarfaraz Alam.
Karnataka’s Bidar (20 per cent) and Dharwad (19 per cent) also have a substantial Muslim population.
Kerala and Gujarat are the two states where elections are being held for all the seats in one go in the third phase. in Kerala, seats like Wayanad (from where Rahul Gandhi is contesting) (22 per cent), Thrussur (24 per cent), Chalakudy (38 per cent), Ernakulam (39 per cent), idukki (42 per cent), Kottayam (45 per cent), Alapuzzha (21 per cent) and Pathanamithitta (39 per cent) have high Muslim population.
Two seats of Gujarat — Kachh and Bharuch also have Muslim population of 21 per cent each. In Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag (the only seat where elections are being held in three phases), 98 per cent of voters are Muslims.
Even in the 10 seats going to polls in Uttar Pradesh, the seats with large Muslim population of over 20 per cent are Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Badaun, Aonia, Bareilly and Pilibhit Maharashtra will see polling in Jalna and Aurangabad where Muslim voters are more than 20 percent each.