How BJP conquered Deoband in UP

The consolidation of Hindu votes could have been a result of the questions raised against the Deobandi community.

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One of the unique factors about the Bharatiya Janata Party's mammoth win in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections was the victory in Deoband. The BJP managed to sweep through in most Muslim-dominated regions. It won all the six constituencies in Muzzafarnagar. It also bagged Bijnor, Deoband, Bareilly and Sahranpur. All these belts have a major Muslim population.

How BJP conquered Deoband in UP

Deoband, that houses the Darul Uloom was bagged by the BJP. It is one of the five constituencies in Sahranpur district which falls in northern Uttar Pradesh. This place accounts for 65 per cent Muslims and for the BJP this was a major victory. Following the riots in Muzzafarnagar in 2013, the Darul Uloom came out very strongly against the Samajwadi Party which was ruling the state at that time. It said that it was lack of efficient management that led to the riots and the SP did little to stop it.

For the SP, the riots changed everything. Deoband was a stronghold of the SP and BSP. In the 2017 elections, there was a clear division of the Muslim votes between the SP and BSP. Moreover, there was also a consolidation of the Hindu votes in favour of the BJP.

The consolidation of Hindu votes could have been a result of the questions raised against the Deobandi community. There were allegations that post the riots in 2013 the Darul Uloom had created a rift between the Hindus and Muslims. This was surprising since this place had remained peaceful in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid incident. These are the factors that led to the consolidation of Hindu votes, as a result of which the BJP conquered Deoband.

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