One of the key takeaways from the Congress’s debacle in the Gujarat Assembly election is that it no longer has the hold over minority votes.
Though Gujarat has never elected a lot of Muslim MLAs — the three who won in 2017 were the most to have entered the House since 1995 — the Congress used to bank on the minority vote in several constituencies. This time, the Congress not only lost the seats it had gained in the 2017 Assembly polls but also suffered losses in some of its bastions, many of which have a sizable Muslim population. The Congress’s vote share in several of these constituencies dropped almost 10 percent.
The only Muslim legislator now is Imran Khedawala of the Congress who retained Jamalpur-Khadia in Ahmedabad. However, Khedawala’s victory margin dropped from 29,000 votes to 13,600.
Congress’s Gyasuddin Shaikh, a three-time MLA, said the usual 68-70 percent Muslim voter turnout dropped to 62 percent this time. He said the AAP and the AIMIM eroded his support base.