Uttarakhand - Why Harish Rawat's decision to stand from Haridwar could be a Game Changer

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HARIDWAR: In all the 11 assembly constituencies in Haridwar district, Dalits and Muslims are in a position to decide the winner, and candidates of various parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo these sections of voters. According to 2011 Census, of the total population of 18,90,422 in Haridwar district, there are 6,48,119 Muslims (34.28%). There are 13,05,266 voters in these 11 constituencies, and Muslims, on an average constitute 20% of the voters in each assembly seat of the district. There are more than six constituencies such as Roorkee, Piran Kaliyar, Bhagwanpur, Manglaur, Khanpur, Jwalapur, etc where the percentage of Muslim voters can be as high as 25%.

“In any of these 11 seats, the first choice of Muslim voters is a candidate of Congress. And if a candidate of BSP emerges as a strong contender owing to the strength of Dalit voters on any seat, Muslims have a tendency to deviate from Congress and support BSP, only to defeat BJP. This because they are of the opinion that Congress, after the polls, might join hands with BSP to form the government,” said Rao Munfet Ali, a local advocate.

While Muslim votes have a tendency to veer towards Congress or BSP, Dalits, who support BSP here, may turn towards BJP this time, primarily due to the Modi factor, say political analysts. "We believe that PM's party might actually bring something good to our community," said Rama Kumar, a Dalit from Laksar. Jwalapur and Laksar are believed to be strongholds of BSP due to the large number of Dalit voters.

Read the full article: HERE

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