New Delhi- The representation of Muslims in India’s Lok Sabha (LS) will be the lowest since the first general election of 1952, Indian media reported today.
The 16th Lok Sabha will have just 24 Muslim Members of the Parliment (MPs), down from 30 in the 15th. That translates to 4.4 percent of the strength of the House. Muslims constituted 4.3 percent of the first Lok Sabha in 1952, but their proportion has hovered between five and six per cent for the last quarter of a century after dropping from a high of 9.3 percent or 49 members in the LS elected in the 1980 elections.
The incoming House will have no Muslim MPs from Uttar Pradesh. It will also not have any from Maharashtra, a large state with a substantial Muslim population. The only states to have elected MPs from the community are West Bengal (eight), Jammu & Kashmir (four), Bihar (four), Kerala (three), Assam (two) and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep (one each). Of these, J&K as well as Lakshadweep have Muslim-majority populations. Given the nature of the BJP's sweep and the fact that it fielded hardly any Muslim candidates, the fact that the new House would have so few from the Muslim community did not come as a surprise.