DESPARDES News Monitor– 27 Muslim member of Parliament have been elected for Lok Sabha (Lower House). Although Muslim population in India is 14.2% as per the census of 2011 (independent counts suggest it’s more), their representation in the Lower House comes to less than 5 per cent of its total official composition.
And as per the population of Muslims the number or parliamentarians to represent them should be at least 70.
The highest number of Muslim parliamentarians elected were 34 in 2004 when the Congress led UPA had formed the government.
The outgoing Lok Sabha had the lowest representation of Muslims since 1952. Only 23 Muslim MPs made it to the Lok Sabha in 2014. However this time the number has increased by 4.
In Uttar Pradesh (UP) where Muslims have a huge population, 5 were elected as lawmakers. In 2014, not a single Muslim was elected in Uttar Pradesh when NDA swept 73 out of 80 seats in the state.
The most important development is the victory of Imtiaz Jaleel, the AIMIM candidate in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. For the first time since its inception, the AIMIM will have two MPs in the Parliament.
West Bengal, another state with huge Muslim population, elected 6 Muslims– highest among all states– to the Lower House.
The nationalist BJP, along with allied parties, won 353 seats, paving the way for Modi to become the first prime minister in decades to return to government with another majority after completing his entire tenure in office.
Independent observers translate the BJP and Modi’s second win as a popular mandate to push forward with their politics of Hindu nationalism.
In March, Sakshi Maharaj, one of the saffron-clad BJP legislators representing the fringe section of the Hindu right-wing, made an ominous declaration.
“Modi is a tsunami that has brought awakening in the country. I believe there would be no elections in 2024 after this election is done,” he said.
Some have taken this statement to mean that in the coming five years Modi will consolidate power to the point where no other political power would manage to dethrone him. It has stirred fears that the BJP could consider pursuing changes in the law to jettison the parliamentary system, replacing it with a non-elective one.