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Those big faces of Muslim politics in UP who play a big role in victory and defeat in every election?

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India. 16.51 percent of the total population of the country lives here. It is also well known that the mathematics of victory and defeat in elections in this state plays an important role in forming the government of the country. If we look at the 2011 census, the total population of UP was 19.98 crore and there were 3.84 crore Muslims in it.

According to this, 20.26 percent of the total population of this province represents the Muslim community. This is the reason why the importance of Muslim vote bank on the political chessboard cannot be ignored. Here the responsibility of victory and defeat of various political parties rests on Muslim leaders.

These Muslim leaders of UP, with their influence, pull the vote bank of this community. Some of such effective and powerful leaders are Azam Khan, Mukhtar Ansari, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, then Imran Masood Shafiqur Rahman Burke, Nahid Hasan, Haji Fazlur Rahman, ST Hasan are also famous faces among the public. There is no doubt that even in the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, political parties will try to get Muslim votes by placing bets on these faces.

Azam Khan continues to shine

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If there is talk of influence of Muslim leaders in UP and Azam Khan’s name should not be taken in this episode, how can it happen. The name of Azam Khan, who is called the backbone of SP, comes out as an influential leader of UP. If you want to guess the effect of Azam Khan on the Muslims of UP, then you will not have to go far. For him, the 2022 UP Legislative Assembly election is enough. In March 2022, he was lodged in Sitapur jail for 2 years, but despite this, SP MP Azam Khan created history by getting the most votes in the district.

The situation was that no candidate got so many votes in the previous state elections. Then MP Azam Khan got 130649 votes in Rampur. BJP candidate Akash Saxena, who stood against him, could get only 75,411 votes. On the other hand his son Abdullah Azam defeated Hyder Ali Khan alias Hamza Mian of Apna Dal in Swar Tanda.

He defeated Hamza by 61103 votes. Abdullah Azam got 12616 votes and Hamza Mian got 65059 votes. Azam Khan, who has identified himself as a founding member of the Samajwadi Party in the state, is currently an MP from Rampur Lok Sabha constituency. He has been a member of the 17th Legislative Assembly of the state.

Azam Khan, who was a lawyer before joining politics, has also been the senior most cabinet minister in UP and has the title of being a member of the Legislative Assembly for 9 times from Rampur assembly constituency. He has more than 80 criminal cases registered against him, but despite this, his stature as an effective Muslim leader has not diminished.

Naseemuddin Siddiqui’s influence

Congress leader and former minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui also has a lot of influence in the Muslim vote bank in UP. Siddiqui, who came from Jhansi in UP, was the first Muslim MLA of BSP. Siddiqui became the first Muslim MLA of BSP from Banda in 1991. With time, he became very special to Mayawati. When the BSP government was formed in the state in 2007, his status remained like a mini chief minister.

In the 2010 MLC elections, Mayawati announced her elder brother and old BSP leader Jamiruddin Siddiqui as the candidate from Banda Hamirpur. This angered Siddiqui with the BSP supremo. He made his wife Husna Siddiqui as MLC candidate in these elections by cutting the ticket of Zameeruddin.

His wife won and reached the Legislative Council. On 10 May 2017, Mayawati showed the BSP’s domineering leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, along with his son, the way out of the party. In the year 2018, Siddiqui joined the Congress party. Since then till date, he is engaged in mobilizing Muslim vote bank for the Congress party in UP.

Mukhtar Ansari’s dominance

Mukhtar Ansari is the grandson of Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, the President of the Indian National Congress. Mukhtar Ansari is also known as a domineering Muslim leader in UP politics. Born in 1963 in Yusufpur-Muhammedabad, Ghazipur, Mukhtar’s family was associated with the Communist Party. His father Subhanullah Ansari had a lot of interference in the politics of UP.

Elder brother Afzal’s encouragement brought him into politics. In 1985, Afzal was elected a Communist Party MLA for the first time from Muhammadabad seat of Ghazipur. Mukhtar played a major role in this. After this, his desire to be covered in politics increased.

He wanted to contest the legislative election from a seat in Ghazipur, if things did not work out, he jumped into the Mau election riot in 1996 on Mayawati’s behest for the BSP. This Muslim-dominated seat proved to be a wish for Mukhtar and he became a BSP MLA for the first time from here. After that he didn’t look back. He continued to dominate this seat till the year 2017.

After this, in 2002, Mukhtar was elected MLA from Mau. In the year 2005, Mukhtar was accused of rioting in Mau and he surrendered and went to Ghazipur Jail. In the year 2018, he was sent to Unnao Jail. Mukhtar became a frequent MLA but wanted to become an MP, he contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 as a BSP candidate against BJP MP from Banaras Murli Manohar Joshi.

Then he had filled the form for this from Agra Central Jail itself. Mayawati showed the way out to Mukhtar, who lost by 17000 votes in this election. After this, three brothers Afzal, Mukhtar and Sigbatullah formed the Quami Ekta Dal party. In the year 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had to face defeat from Mukhtar Ghosi parliamentary seat. Quami Ekta Dal 2017 joined BSP. After this Mukhtar got ticket from Mau Sadar and he again became MLA. Right now he is in Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.

Imran Masood with Qazi Rashid

Former Union Minister used to speak in politics of late leader Qazi Rashid Masood for 50 years. He had a great influence not only in western Uttar Pradesh but also in the politics of the country. In the shadow of him, his nephew Imran Masood also learned the tricks of politics. Imran, who had a strong influence in western UP, left the Samajwadi Party and joined the BSP on 20 October 2022. In fact, in the UP assembly elections, he left the Congress party and joined the SP.

He started his political journey in 2006 from the President of the Municipal Council of Saharanpur. Then in the year 2007, became MLA from Muzaffarabad seat (now Behat seat) of Saharanpur district. Masood contested the assembly elections as an independent candidate after the SP refused him a ticket. By winning in this, he showed his political power to the people.

He has also been the Vice President of the Congress Party of Uttar Pradesh, the Advisory Council in the Congress and the former National Secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). One Imran Masood had told during an interview that at the age of 20, he had gone to his house on the death of Chaudhary Yashpal Singh’s son. Actually Yashpal Singh was known as his family rival.

This reduced the distance between the two families. It is believed that Imran Masood has green the bell of the politics of Masood family among the people of Saharanpur. It is worth noting that the caste to which Imran belongs is not in large numbers in UP, but even after this he has managed to establish his base in UP. It is said that even after the defeat in the elections, he maintains the image of a strong leader among the people.

Danish Azad Ansari of BJP’s ideology

Born in Ballia, UP, Danish Azad Ansari is the Minister of Minority Welfare in the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Danish is neither an MLA nor a member of the Legislative Council, but his appointment as a minister of state in the Yogi cabinet took everyone by surprise. He joined the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP, when he was a student of Lucknow University. He is known for spreading the ideology of BJP to Muslim youth.

Due to these qualities, the UP government made him a member of the Urdu Language Commission on 29 October 2018. In the last year 2021, in the Yogi cabinet, he was made the State General Secretary in the Minority Front. By making Danish, who comes from the Ansari community of Muslim OBC, a minister, BJP has tried to make this Muslim community in its favor. He will emerge as the face of BJP in UP in Lok Sabha 2024.

Lok Sabha – Assembly seat in UP

There are 80 Lok Sabha seats and 403 assembly seats in UP. Of these, Muslim voters are dominant in about a third of the 143 assembly seats. There is such an effect on 36 seats that Muslim candidates can win here on their own. If there are Muslims in some parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, then Western UP has a large number of Muslims. Muslims constitute 26.21 percent of the population in western UP.

There are 26 districts in western UP, where there are 136 assembly seats. If we talk about the 2022 assembly elections, then 34 Muslim MLAs were elected. In this, 21 MLAs came from West Uttar Pradesh alone. 6 have won from Central UP and 7 from Purvanchal. In the 2017 Legislative Assembly elections, 24 Muslim MLAs were elected.

In 2014, not a single Muslim could become an MP in UP. In the year 2019, 6 Muslim MPs were elected from UP. BSP and SP had 3-3 MPs in this. SP’s Kunwar Ali Danish of BSP won from Amroha, Afzal Ansari from Ghazipur and Haji Fazlur Rahman from Saharanpur. On the other hand, Samajwadi Party’s strong leader Azam Khan won from Rampur, Shafiqurraman from Sambhal and Dr ST Hasan from Moradabad seat.

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