The Muslim-dominated Moradabad constituency of Uttar Pradesh will once again be in the focus this time, particularly in view of BJP moves to woo the minority votes.
The saffron party, it is learnt, is contemplating to field a Muslim candidate from here, which may serve as a test case for the party's "woo Muslims" strategy. Otherwise, the constituency had been a Samajwadi Party bastion till recently.
However, In 1999 one Chandra Vijay Singh had defeated two-time MP Dr Shafiq-Ur-Rehman Burq in a 17-cornered contest. In 1998, Samajwadi Party's Dr Safiqur Rehman Vark had defeated BJP's Vijay Bansal by 36,481 votes whereas in 1996, Shafiqur Rehman had drubbed BJP's Sandeep by 1885 votes.
In 1991, Janata Dal's Gulam Mohammed Khan had trounced BJP's VP Singhal by 13,978 votes while in 1989, the seat was won by Ghulam Mohammad Khan Haji of Janata who got 81,917 votes more than Indra Mohini of (W) (Cong).
By the time Ghulam M Khan won this constituency for the BLD in 1977, it had already broken off with the Congress after voting it only in the first election. Khan represented this seat for two consecutive terms, and lost it in the 1984 Rajiv wave.
He managed to regain the seat for the JD in 1989, and retained it in 1991, the BJP being the runner-up for the first time that election. In 1996, the constituency turned to the SP's Shafiqur Rahman Warq, who defeated his BJP rival Sandeep by less than 2,000 votes. The BSP's Akbar Hussain, coming third, managed to take away 112,254 votes.
The winners since 1952 include: MH Rehman (Cong, 1952), Ram Saran (Cong, 1957), M Hussain (RPI, 1962), OP Tyagi (BJS, 1967), V Agarwal (BJS, 1971), Ghulam Mohd Khan (BLD, 1977), Ghulam Mohd Khan (JPS, 1980).
Muslims, who dominate the constituency, comprise 40% of the electors. Scheduled Castes (17%), and Kachis/Muraos (6%) are the other important communities, so far as election results are concerned.
Ahirs, Rajputs, Kahars, Vaishyas, Jats and Brahmins are also in good strength here. Chamars (14%) are most dominant among the Scheduled Castes.