With all parties clamouring for their support, Muslim voters of Mewat (Meos) — numbering a whopping 4.75 lakh — are a confused lot these days.
The Yadav vote, the second biggest community in the area, is likely to get divided between three candidates: Rao Inderjit Singh (BJP), Rao Dharampal (Congress) and Yogendra Yadav (AAP). This makes the Muslim vote the deciding factor.
Mewat is known to vote for a particular candidate irrespective of the party. So far, ground reports have pointed out that the Muslim community is likely to vote for the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) Zakir Hussain.In the 2009 election, Zakir had bagged more than 7% votes and stood second after Rao Inderjit Singh. But this election is likely to be different.
Opposition parties have begun stressing on the fact that the votes that will land in land in INLD’s kitty will end up going to the BJP as the two parties are likely to tie up after elections.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi held a rally in Mewat on March 31 to woo Muslims, its traditional vote bank. But Narendra Modi gave the area a slip, preferring to hold his rally in urban Gurgaon on April 3.
Yogendra Yadav found Mewat an opportune place to disclose his childhood name Salim Ahmed. The AAP had even begun circulating pamphlets in the area, depicting a photograph of a pair of spectacles (INLD’s symbol), one of whose lens carries a picture of Modi while the other has one of Hussain.
The pamphlet also asks: If not Modi, why Zakir Hussain because the two are the same. Such tricks are likely to leave a mark on Muslims, denting Hussain’s prospects, especially with regard to the Meo Muslims who form his core vote bank.
Little wonder then that he has begun crying foul. He has filed a complaint with the state election commission, terming the pamphlets as a deliberate attempt and conspiracy to confuse voters in Mewat. On Tuesday, the Gurgaon returning officer issued a show-cause notice to AAP for violating the code of conduct.
On Tuesday, Hussain, who has been relentlessly trying to convince people in Mewat that his party has no plans to support BJP, said, “All political parties have come together against us and are spreading rumours to mislead the voters in Mewat. A poster showing Modi and me together is a glaring example of unethical politics.”