Will West Bengal’s Muslims vote for the left?

April 8, 2009

Are the ruling communists in the stronghold state of West Bengal losing the confidence of its traditional Muslim voters, ahead of their most crucial electoral test this month?

For decades, Muslims have always felt safe in West Bengal, although they have been caught in an uncomfortable position elsewhere in the country after each bomb or militant attack.

West Bengal’s left boasted that Muslims, a little over 26 percent in the state of 80 million people, were free from discrimination and were living in harmony.

But the ground situation has changed in the last five years with the government pushing for industry after years of land reforms.

Violence over acquisition of land has seen Muslim groups pouring into the streets to protest against the left, and saying they would not vote for them again.

Muslims are also saying they have been ignored for top job positions and were the worst affected when it came to losing farmland for industry, an allegation denied by the communists.

“The Muslims have always stayed with the communists for years, but now they are angry,” says Ahmed Hassan Imran, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Bengal.

“They feel betrayed, the left has not done anything significant to help poor Muslims. The left candidates will not get many Muslim votes,” Siddiqullah Choudhury, chief of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, added.

4 comments

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The Communists in Kerala too seem to be in a mood to bend over backwards to accommodate new found allies. the LDF reaching out to people like PDP’s firebrand leader Mahdani and Raman Pillai (ex-BJP) should have EMS and AKG turning in their graves. Check this story http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/ar ticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=279954&version =1&template_id=40&parent_id=22

Posted by Madhu | Report as abusive

Kindly do not attempt to inject conclusions that would communalize the secular politics of West Bengal. The economic policies of the Left in West Bengal have affected the lower working class from every religious section and the protests have cut across religious divisions.Most of the popular perceptions about communal politics emerge from media reports rather than party politics. I hope that as elections approach the media will be more responsible and not ‘create’ news for the sake of filling its 24×7 slots.

The Left is losing its credibility and becoming like a power broker.Hopefully, Karat should not get sizeable votes in the ensuing general elections so that he will not take anything as a personal prestige!!!

MUSLIM VOTERS HAVE REALISED THAT THEIR SITUATION IS WORST THAN MUSLIMS OF ANY OTHER STATE IN INDIA, AND LEFT PARTIES ARE JUST USING THEM TO COME TO POLLS.WEST BENGAL NEEDS SERIOUS ” CHANGE” AS ALREADY ITS TOO LATE.

Posted by BIMAL ROY | Report as abusive