Muslim religious leaders in West Bengal launched a campaign to prevent the division of Muslim vote bank in State Election 2021. According to news agency Muslim Mirror, a group of Ulema and Imams has expressed concern over the entry of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) into the West Bengal electoral politics. According to these Ulema and Imams, the entry of AIMIM may cause division of Muslim votes in the forthcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.
The report claimed that recently, the Imams of north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda gathered at a guest house in Islampur in North Dinajpur district to chalk out a strategy to prevent the split of Muslim votes.
The report further said that the Muslim share in the total population of the State is significant, that is about 30 per cent. And in at least 150 out of 294 State Assembly constituencies, Muslim votes range over 50 to 20 per cent which makes them as kingmaker in the first-past-post electoral system.
Following is the percentage of Muslim voters according to the Kolkata based Pratichi Institute’s
SR No Constituencies Muslim vote share in %
1 46 More than 50
2 16 40 to 50
3 33 30 to 40
4 50 20 to 30
5 149 10 to 20
The report further claimed that Muslim voters played a critical role in dislodging the Left Front from the power– which had ruled the State for seven consecutive terms 1977–2011- and brought Truna Mul Congress (TMC) to power. It is for this reason; Imams have launched a campaign in Muslim-dominated districts of the State.
The report also claimed that in 2019 General Elections, a massive 70 per cent Muslims voted for the TMC, while 12 per cent voted for the Congress, 10 per cent for the Left in the State. It was the Muslim votes that helped the TMC to win more parliamentary seats.