AP Assembly elections: Muslim voters can be game changers

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Hyderabad: Muslim votes may decide the outcome in more than 100 Assembly constituencies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

In the event of close contests, every vote will be valuable and there are around 140 Assembly constituencies in both states where the number of Muslim voters range from 10,000 to 40,000.This becomes all the more important historically, as compared to other sections of voters, the percentage of Muslim votes are higher.

There is, however, a difference between the Muslim voters in Telangana and in Andhra Pradesh. In Telangana, the impact of the MIM is more on the Muslim voters than those in Andhra Pradesh. Generally, Muslim voters have sided with the Congress, especially after the BJP came into existence. And the MIM has had alliances with the Congress in every election.

The entire Muslim community had sailed with YSR, who had implemented four per cent reservations for them and had also initiated welfare programmes. They are now with YSR’s son Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party, the YSR Congress. Thus in Seemandhra, the YSR Congress will get a major chunk of the Muslim votes.However in Telangana, the Congress may get support of the Muslim voters due to the non-existence of the YSRC and a likely alliance between the Telugu Desam and the BJP.

Meanwhile, city-based MIM is planning to expand its base by contesting from six Lok Sabha and 40 Assembly seats in both the states. The MIM is naturally concentrating on constituencies where there are more Muslim voters.

In the last general elections, the MIM had won one Lok Sabha and seven Assembly seats in the city. There are four Assembly constituencies in Telangana and 13 in Andhra Pradesh with 30,000 to 40,000 Muslim voters while there are 12 constituencies in Telangana and 17 in Andhra Pradesh with 20,000 to 30,000 Muslim Voters.

So far, the MIM has not won a single Assembly constituency outside the city but the equations might change this time with the party aiming to contest seats from Telangana and from Andhra Pradesh.

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