NEW DELHI: Nearly 150 million Muslims will only have 24 representatives in the 17th Lok Sabha, according to trends shown on the Election Commission website till late Thursday evening. While Muslims constitute 10.5% of the total population, their representation in the new Lok Sabha will be 4.42%.
Notably, neighbouring Bangladesh has a better representation of minorities with 21 of its members belonging to the minority community. This constitutes 8.8% representation of their total strength. Pakistan, on the other hand, fares poorly than India as only 2.9% of its members belong to the minority community.
However, the representation of Muslims in India has gone up by two seats this time compared to 2014, when it hit an all-time low in the last 50 years.
BJP which won with a thumping majority will not have a single Muslim MP as was the case in 2014. The highest number of Muslims have come from Uttar Pradesh with three each from Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi party. Among the winners is firebrand Samajwadi leader Azam Khan.
Notably UP, which has the highest population of Muslims, had sent no Muslim MP to the Lok Sabha in 2014. The second highest number of five Muslim MPs is from West Bengal with four MPs from the Trinamool and one from the Congress.
J&K, which is a Muslim majority state, has three MPs, all from National Conference. The three MPs are party president Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi.
Bihar, which had sent four MPs to the Lok Sabha last time, has only two Muslims this time — one each from Congress and Janata Dal (United). About half of the country’s Muslims live in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Bengal.
Kerala and Assam also have two MPs each who belong to the minority community. Maharashtra, with a Muslim population of around 11%, has elected one Muslim MP— Imtiaz Jaleel Syed of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
Punjab, Telangana and Lakshadweep also have one Muslim MP each. The only encouraging statistics on Muslim representation is the fact that this time the contribution of Muslim MPs comes from 10 states while in the last elections, the Muslim MPs hailed from just seven states.