GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014
Mukhtar Ansari decided to quit the battlefield of Varanasi saying he did so to consolidate the secular votes against Modi.
But it is going to help Modi only. And therefore, we have reports analysing the possible behind the scene deal between the BJP and Mukhtar on it.
That may, may not be. Mukhtar would have got Muslim votes only this time because he would not be contesting on a BSP ticket, and therefore was not to get the traditional BSP votes.
Mukhtar Ansari, who is in jail in the case of a BJP MP murder, is a polarising figure and carries the ability to polarise Muslim votes in his area, the belt of Ghazipur-Mau (he is contesting from Ghosi that covers Mau district) that extends to Varanasi as well. He has been openly communal in his acts and is facing charges of inciting religious violence.
The Muslim electorate in Varanasi, in 2009, should have been around 3,00,000, if we go by the 2014 numbers (~3.5 lakh). In 2009 polls, when Mukhtar contested on BSP ticket, he got around 1,85,000 votes. In addition to that, Mukhar got the traditional BSP votes, too. That made him a close second to Murli Manohar Joshi who won by just over 17,000 votes. What we need to keep in mind here is the low polling percentage of around 42% in 2009. It was largely due to the BJP MPs failing to perform on a seat that happens to be a BJP stronghold for quite some time now.
This time, with a clear Modi factor, the polling percentage is expected to be significantly higher. And Modi’s capacity to polarise the Hindu votes across the country is going to bring the larger pie of over 12 lakh non-Muslim votes in Varanasi to the Lotus.
And in absence of SP/BSP tag, coupled with expected higher voter turnout in favour of Modi, Mukhtar was staring at a lower tally than the last time. There was very clear chance of it being even a humiliating defeat. That would never be good for a person who wields his power on fear.
Therefore, his proclamation of ‘not contesting from Varanasi to avoid the division of secular votes’ sounds more like an exit route from an already decided defeat that is going to be bigger this time.
Yes, his exit can help Arvind Kejriwal, Ajai Rai and others with increased vote count by diverting the Muslim votes to them.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/