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Lok Sabha election: Aligarh has never elected a Muslim MP

first_imgBefore digital locks became the norm for securing homes, Aligarh was famous for its locks, which made its way to the farthest corner of the country. Today, Aligarh is best known for its Aligarh Muslim University, which has also contributed to the impression among outsiders that it is a Muslim-dominated district of Uttar Pradesh.This impression has gained currency in the wake of controversies such as the Jinnah portrait row in Aligarh Muslim University, clash between the varsity students and the BJP over alleged shouting of anti-India slogans leading to slapping of sedition charges against 14 youths and a ‘tiranga yatra’ in recent times.Interestingly, the only Muslim majority district of Uttar Pradesh is Rampur.Aligarh, which voted on April 19 in the Lok Sabha election, is one of the 80 parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. This seat has never elected a Muslim candidate to the Lok Sabha.Aligarh’s profileGoing by the electorate’s demography, Muslims are about one-fifth of the total 18.82 lakh voters in Aligarh. There are estimated 3.50 lakh Muslim voters followed by 2.50 lakh Jats and 1.60 lakh Brahmins.There are about 2 lakh Jatav voters, believed to be the supporters of the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, in Aligargh and 1.50 lakh Thakurs or Rajputs. Vaishya, Lodh, Yadav and Baghel are 1 lakh each in the Aligarh Lok Sabha constituency.How has Aligarh voted till date?The Congress won the first two Lok Sabha elections from Aligarh, which in 1962 voted for a candidate of the Republic Party of India. The Bharatiya Kranti Dal, which later merged with the Janata Party won Aligarh Lok Sabha seat in 1967 and 1971, when Indira Gandhi’s popularity was at its peak.advertisementThe Janata Party and its breakaway faction Janata Party (S) won the next two elections before the Congress won from Aligarh Lok Sabha constituency in 1984, when the election was held in the shadow of assassination of Indira Gandhi. The Congress could not win the Aligarh seat for next 20 years.The BJP has dominated the Aligarh constituency since 1991, winning this seat six times. The Congress has also won from here six times but its first four victories came in the first two Lok Sabha elections, when Aligarh sent two representatives one in open category and the other in reserved segment.The BJP won Aligarh seat five times in a row from 1991 to 2001 Lok Sabha bypoll. The Congress won back this seat in 2004 and lost it to the BSP in 2009. The BJP secured Aligarh Lok Sabha seat in 2014, when Satish Kumar Gautam defeated his BSP rival by about 2.87 lakh votes.Gautam is in the fray seeking a second term. He was up against BSP’s Ajeet Baliyan and former MP Bijendra Singh of the Congress.Before Aligarh went to polling boothsIn 2018, Satish Kumar Gautam triggered a massive row when he demanded that the Aligarh Muslim University should remove the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, an alumnus of the university and creator of Pakistan, from its campus.In January this year, the BJP and the Aligarh Muslim University were again on the warpath after the varsity denied a ‘tiranga rally’ organised by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on Republic Day.The BJYM is the youth wing of the ruling BJP. The BJYM had decided to take out the tiranga yatra inside the university campus after the AMU administration issued notice to two of its students for a similar rally, carrying the national tricolour, on the premises.Again in February, local BJP leader Mukesh Kumar Lodh lodged a complaint with the police that he and his supporters were shot at and assaulted at the gate of the AMU for sporting a sticker of the party. He alleged that the assaulters were students of the AMU and shouted anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans.The police slapped sedition charges against 14 students of the AMU. Some of these students were suspended by the AMU administration.(With inputs from Siraj Qureshi in Agra)ALSO READ: Will higher voter turnout help or hurt BJP?ALSO WATCH: Modi will become PM once again, says Amit Shahlast_img

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