Press Trust of india

9 Muslim candidates win in Karnataka Assembly polls, all from Congress

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New Delhi: Nine Muslim candidates, all from the Congress, emerged victorious in the Karnataka Assembly polls.

The Congress on Saturday made a stunning comeback in Karnataka, winning 135 of the 224 Assembly seats. The BJP, which bagged 66 seats, lost the only southern state it was in power.

The consolidation of Muslim votes, which make up nearly 13 per cent of the state’s electorate, seems to have worked in favour of the Congress. The party has promised to restore a four per cent quota for Muslims, which the erstwhile BJP government scrapped.

Notably, these were the first Assembly elections in the state since the controversy over hijab and the central government imposed a five-year ban on the Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI).

The Congress handed over tickets to 15 Muslim candidates and nine of them emerged victorious. The JD(S) fielded 23 Muslim candidates, but none could secure a victory.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM contested two seats and secured only 0.02 per cent of the votes polled. The SDPI – the political outfit of PFI – met a similar fate as none of its 16 candidates could open their accounts.

For the Congress, Rahim Khan won in Bidar by a margin of 10,659 votes; UT Khader Fareed in Mangalore by 22,977 votes; Tanveer Sait in Narasimharaja (Mysuru) by 31,091 votes; Asif (Raju) Sait in Belagavi North by 4,551 votes; Rizwan Arshad in Shivajinagar by 23,198 votes; B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan in Chamrajpet by 53,983 votes; H A Iqbal Hussain in Ramanagaram by 10,846 votes; N A Haris in Shanti Nagar by 7,070 votes; and Kaneez Fatima in Gulbarga North by a margin 2,979 votes.

Fatima – the incumbent MLA from the Gulbarga North constituency – was the lone Muslim woman candidate fielded by the Congress.

Only two of these nine Muslim candidates – Asif (Raju) Sait and Iqbal Hussain – have been re-elected. The remaining seven will be going to the Assembly for the first time.



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