Despite being called BJP’s unofficial ally, how TRS swung Muslim votes in its favour
Hyderabad, Dec 12: The thumping win for the TRS is attributed to a variety of factors. While his core vote bank remained intact, it was the big swing in Muslim votes that helped K Chandrashekhar Rao attain such a huge number.
The shift in Muslim votes was also facilitated by the AIMM. The party decided to contest only in 8 seats and also campaigned indirectly for the TRS in 11 Muslim dominated assembly segments.
During the campaign, KCR worked his magic in the Muslim dominated areas. In all these constituencies, he spoke only in Urdu explaining to them the importance of Muslim beliefs. He also increased the honorarium paid to imams in Mosques, which also worked in his favour.
Ahead of the elections, there was talk that the TRS was in an unofficial alliance with the BJP. However to overcome this, KCR spared no effort in telling the public about his party's proximity to the AIMM.
He also went all hog in launching an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suggest to the voter that he was not in any understanding with the BJP.
The Muslims were also particularly happy with KCR for his various schemes. He initiated the Shaadi Mubakar scheme, gave financial assistance to Muslims, doled out Ramzan gifts, enhanced salaries of Imams and also built minority educational institutions.
The minority community is estimated at around 12.7 per cent of the state's population. They were a factor in 45 constituencies. There are around 29 constituencies where the Muslim voters are at 15 per cent, while 13 have an electorate of around 10 to 15 per cent. The notable constituencies which have a Muslim presence are Hyderabad, Adilabad, Karimanagar, Nizamabad, Medak, Mahbubnagar and Secundrabad. The AIMM contested in the six seats it held in Old City of Hyderabad, one in Secunderabad and one at Rajendranagar.
While the AIMM may have helped the TRS slightly, the fact is that the party's influence does not spread beyond the Old City where the Muslim population is at 70 per cent and mostly poor.