Of the 78 Muslim candidates who contested the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, only 24 have managed to win across the country, a number that keeps going down over the years.

In 2019, only 26 Muslim candidates were elected as Members of Parliament, four belonging to the Congress and TMC each, three from the BSP and SP each, and one each from the NCP and CPI(M).

This year, Congress candidate Imran Masood from Saharanpur won by a margin of 64,542 votes while Iqra Choudhary, a 29-year-old Samajwadi Party candidate from Kairana, secured victory over BJP’s Pradeep Kumar by 69,116 votes.

Ghazipur saw SP veteran Afzal Ansari go past BJP’s Pars Nath Rai, securing a lakh more votes than his rival, while AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi retained his Hyderabad seat by a margin of 3,38,087 votes over his nearest rival BJP’s Madhavi Latha Kompella. In Ladakh, Independent candidate Mohammad Haneefa secured a victory by a margin of 27,862 votes while another Independent candidate Abdul Rashid Sheikh, aka Engineer Rashid, won the Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla seat, bagging 4.7 lakh votes.

In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party’s Mohibbullah won the Rampur seat by securing 4,81,503 votes, while Zia Ur Rehman won in Sambhal by a margin of 1.2 lakh votes. Mian Altaf Ahmad of the National Conference won in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri seat by 2,81,794 votes against former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. In Srinagar NC candidate Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi secured 3,56,866 votes.

Festive offer

In West Bengal’s Baharampur seat, first-time contender Yusuf Pathan pulled off an upset by beating Congress veteran and six-time MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury by 85,022 votes. In the Basirhat constituency, under which Sandeshkhali falls, TMC’s Haji Nurul Islam defeated BJP candidate Rekha Patra by nearly two lakh votes. In Uluberia, too, TMC’s Sajda Ahmed went past BJP’s Arunuday Paulchowdhury by a margin of over two lakh votes. In Jangipur, the Trinamool’s Khalilur Rahaman went past Congress’s Murtoja Hossain Bokul by over 1 lakh votes. Murshidabad also saw the TMC dominate with Abu Taher Khan going past CPI(M)’s Md Salim by over a lakh votes. In Maldaha West, the Congress’s Isha Khan Choudhary defeated the BJP’s Sreerupa Mitra Choudhary by a margin of 1.2 lakh votes.

In Lakshadweep, Congress’s Muhammed Hamdullah Sayeed scraped through, going past Mohammed Faizal PP of the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) by just 2,000 votes.

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML’s) Navaskani K also secured a victory in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram. In Kerala’s Ponnani, IUML’s Dr MP Abdussamad Samadani defeated CPI(M)’s KS Hamza. The Congress’s Shafi Parambil, in Vadakara, defeated CPI(M)’s Shailaja Teacher by a margin of over a lakh votes. IUML also managed to win the Malappuram constituency, where ET Mohammed Basheer defeated CPI(M)’s V Vaseef by over 3 lakh votes.

In Bihar, the Congress’s Tariq Anwar won from Katihar, going past Janta Dal (United)’s Dulal Chandra Goswami by a margin of almost 50,000 votes. In Kishanganj, Congress’s Mohammad Jawed defeated JD(U)’s Mujahid Alam by almost 60,000 votes.

In Assam’s Dhubri constituency, the bastion of AIUDF, Badruddin Ajmal fell short of Congress’s Rakibul Hussain.

This year, the BSP fielded 35 Muslim candidates, the highest among all parties. Of these, more than half (17) were in Uttar Pradesh, apart from four in Madhya Pradesh, three each in Bihar and Delhi, two in Uttarakhand, and one each in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Telangana and Gujarat.

The Congress comes next, with 19 Muslim candidates, with the largest number in West Bengal at six, followed by two each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and UP, and one each in Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Telangana and Lakshadweep. The TMC has the third highest number of Muslim candidates in the fray this time, six, of whom it has fielded five in its home state, Bengal. It has also fielded one Muslim candidate in Assam.

Of the SP’s Muslim candidates now, three are contesting from UP, while the fourth has been fielded from Andhra Pradesh. The SP has even dropped one of its sitting Muslim MPs in UP, Moradabad’s ST Hasan, to put up a Hindu candidate, Ruchi Veera.

Keeping aside J&K, the maximum Muslim candidates are contesting in UP (22), followed by West Bengal (17), Bihar (seven), Kerala (six) and Madhya Pradesh (four). Assam, among the highest in terms of share of Muslims in the population, has three Muslim candidates, down from four last time.