High voter turnout in Gujarati-Marwari areas, Muslim pockets low | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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High voter turnout in Gujarati-Marwari areas, Muslim pockets low

May 22, 2024 08:45 AM IST

Borivali and Dahisar in Mumbai North constituency reported 62.50% and 58.12% against the constituency percentage of 57.02

MUMBAI: The city reported 53.98% voting until 11 pm on Monday, a little lower than its percentage of 55.38% in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. As per the poll pattern in the assembly constituencies, the areas with a Gujarati-Marwari dominance reported a high voter turnout while the Muslim-dominated constituencies witnessed a low voting presence. Experts, however, said that this was the pattern in every election, and it would not have any direct impact on the results.

According to the voting percentage released at 11 pm on Monday, Muslim-dominated areas like Byculla, Mumbadevi, Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar and Malad West reported a lower turnout. (Gangurde / HT Photo)
According to the voting percentage released at 11 pm on Monday, Muslim-dominated areas like Byculla, Mumbadevi, Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar and Malad West reported a lower turnout. (Gangurde / HT Photo)

According to the voting percentage released at 11 pm on Monday, Muslim-dominated areas like Byculla, Mumbadevi, Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar and Malad West reported a lower turnout. In comparison, Borivali, Kandivali, Malabar Hill, East and West Ghatkopar, Mulund and Vile Parle, assembly constituencies with a dominance of Gujaratis and Marwaris, had a high turnout.

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Borivali and Dahisar in Mumbai North constituency reported 62.50% and 58.12% against the constituency percentage of 57.02. Similarly, in Ghatkopar East (57.85%), Ghatkopar West (55.90%) and Mulund (61.33%), the turnout was far above the constituency average of 56.37%. The Vile Parle assembly segment recorded 56.01% against the Mumbai North Central average of 51.98%.

Areas like Sewri and Mahim, which are heavily influenced by the Shiv Sena, have recorded a higher percentage than the other assembly segments in the Lok Sabha constituencies. In Sewri, the poll percentage was 51.86% against the Mumbai South constituency average of 50.06%. In Mahim, the percentage was 57.97% against the Mumbai South Central turnout of 53.60%.

The high voting percentage in Gujarati-Marwari-dominated areas is seen as a clear advantage to the BJP and ruling alliance, while the lower turnout in Muslim-dominated areas is perceived as a disadvantage to the opposition. “However, the areas dominated by Marathi and Muslim voters saw voter turnout improving in the evening,” said a senior Congress leader from Mumbai. “Although Muslim-dominated areas had a low turnout, most of the votes were polled in favour of the Congress or the Sena (UBT). Though most of the Gujarati-Marwari votes went to the ruling alliance, Marathi-speaking votes get divided among all parties.”

Bhushan Patil, the Congress candidate from Mumbai North, said that the high voting turnout in Gujarati-Marwari dominated areas did not mean that everyone voted for the BJP candidate. “I expect at least 15% of them to vote for me,” he said. “Apart from this, Muslims, Christians and most Marathi people have voted for me. The voting percentage in Marathi-dominated areas improved later in the day although Gujarati-Marwari-dominated areas reported huge queues in the morning. However, it will not affect our prospects because other communities have voted for us.”

According to Tejas Sakpal, Sena (UBT) leader from Colaba, the dismal turnout in this constituency of BJP leader Rahul Narwekar would play in the Sena (UBT)’s favour while the high voting in Malabar Hill would be an advantage to Yamini Jadhav of the Shinde-led Sena. “Although the voting percentage in Muslim-dominated Byculla and Mumbadevi was low, Muslims have voted for us en bloc, and this will help our candidate Arvind Sawant win,” he said.

Madhav Bhandari, Maharashtra BJP vice-president, claimed that Muslims did not “fall prey to the fatwas to vote for a specific party” and voted for the “development agenda of the Modi government”. “Their low percentage will also play in our advantage,” he said. “Similarly, the high turnout among our core voters will help us win all six seats in Mumbai. The high percentage in Marathi-dominated areas is the result of the tussle between the two Senas, and it will, of course, turn in our favour.”

According to Sarfaraz Arzoo, editor of Urdu daily ‘Hindustan’, the turnout in Muslim-dominated areas was similar to what it was in every election. “Leaders like Arif Naseem Khan and Abu Asim Azmi have not put in enough effort to motivate and mobilise Muslim voters and ensure sizable voting in their constituencies,” he said. “If there is a high turnout in the Gujarati-dominated areas, it is because of the efforts and awareness generated by the parties who have vested interests. But overall, I do not think the results will be affected by this owing to the consolidation of votes of other communities.”

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