HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Left Front or TMC: Who will get maximum share of Muslim votes in Bengal?

Avijit Ghoshal, Hindustan Times   April 05, 2014
First Published: 15:05 IST(5/4/2014) | Last Updated: 16:05 IST(5/4/2014)

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has launched a stinging attack on BJP's prime minister nominee Narendra Modi, steering clear of speculations that she might join hands with the former ally after the 2014 elections.

Till 2011, the Left Front led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) got the largest share of Muslim votes in West Bengal. The equations changed in the run-up to the assembly polls that year. The Trinamool ended the 34-year Left rule, riding on huge support. The Muslims backed Banerjee after the  Singur and Nandigram land movements.

Even though a section of Muslim leaders feels Banerjee has failed to deliver, Bukhari has endorsed the Trinamool for working for the minorities.

In a state where Muslim votes play a key part, the Left Front has fielded 11 candidates, which is 26% of the total 42 seats here, from the community. The Congress has seven, Trinamool six and the BJP has two candidates.

The 2001 census says Muslims account for 25.2% of Bengal's population. Though the 2011 census data is yet to be published, there are assumptions that the figure has risen to 27-28%. There is no data to indicate the share of Muslim voters in the state.

Traditional Congress strongholds Malda and Murshidabad have 70% of Muslims.  In south Bengal, some constituencies that might be influenced by Muslim votes are Kolkata North and Basirhat (North 24-Parganas).
The following constituencies have a substantial Muslim population
1. Malda North (district: Malda)
2. Malda South (district: Malda)
3. Berhampore (district: Murshidabad)
4. Murshidabad (district: Murshidabad)
5. Jangipore (district: Murshidabad)
6. Basirhat (district: North 24-Parganas)
7. Krishnanagar (district: Nadia)
8. Uluberia (district: Howrah)
9. Diamond Harbour (district: South 24-Parganas)
10. Kolkata North (district: Kolkata)

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