In the mammoth victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, it is interesting to note that the Muslim vote did not count. Amit Shah, the chief of the BJP said that it is time to move beyond Hindu-Muslim politics in a press conference that he addressed on Saturday.
The BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate and managed to win 31 out of the 42 seats where the minority community comprised one third of the voter population. The strike rate was at 74 per cent.
In Deoband where the Muslims are in majority, the BJP managed a big win. It is also interesting to note that only 25 Muslims won in the UP elections of 2017. This is a sharp decline when compared to 2012 when 67 Muslim candidates had won.
If one takes into account the vote share in the 42 Muslim dominated constituencies, the vote share of the BJP was at 39.36 per cent. The SP-Congress alliance polled 33.75 per cent while the BSP managed just 18.61 per cent.
This is a clear indicator that the Muslims in Uttar Pradesh did not vote in one wave. In fact the emphasis on the Muslim votes was so much that it ended up polarising the Hindu votes which benefited the BJP in a big way.