Following the massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, “where did the Muslim vote go” question kept doing the rounds in and as well as outside the state. There were all sorts of arguments, but no ‘concrete evidence’. BJP President Amit Shah had said that “a voter is a voter, there is nothing like a Hindu voter or Muslim voter” but others said that the BJP negated Muslim votes through smart social engineering and polarisation.

But did Muslims in UP vote for the BJP in large numbers? Did they shun the BJP altogether in favour of others? Or are they voting for the BJP in other states as well?

Let us look at the national voting pattern of Muslims in the last four Lok Sabha elections to elaborate this point. The BJP usually gets 5 to 6 per cent Muslim votes at the national level. However, the Lok Sabha election of 2014 was an exception in this regard. The Bharatiya Janata Party secured around 9 per cent Muslim votes, which makes it the third possible choice for Muslim voters. Here’s the data of past 20 years, compiled by the CSDS-Lokniti. Here’s what it suggests:

Muslim voting pattern (All over India)

2014: Congress – 37.60%, its allies got 7.60%, BJP got 8.40%, its allies got only 1.1%, Left managed to get 6.40%, whereas BSP got 3.70%, SP-11.20%, while others got 21.20%.

2009: Congress managed 37.80% votes, its allies got 9.30%, BJP this time only got 4% votes, its allies- 2.2%, Left got 11.30%, BSP – 5.50%, SP managed 9.40% of the votes and others got 20.40%.

2004: Congress- 35.60%, its allies- 15.30%, BJP got 7%, its allies- 4.20%, Left got 8.60%, BSP- 3%, SP- 14.80% and others- 11.50%

1999: Congress got 39.90%, Congress allies got 13.70, BJP got 6.50%, BJP allies got 7.40%, Left got 9.70%, BSP- only 2.30%, Samajwadi Party got 10.30%, while others got 10.30%.

Voting pattern of Muslims in UP

2014: UPA- 11%, NDA- 10%, BSP- 18%, SP- 58% and others- 3%.
2009- UPA- 24.60%, NDA- 5%, BSP- 18.50%, SP- 30.20%, others- 21.70%.
2004: UPA- 14.30%, NDA- 2.50%, BSP- 10.10%, SP- 61.6%, others- 11.40%
1999: UPA- 32.30%, NDA- 6.80%, BSP- 8.30%, SP- 45.80%, others- 6.80%

Voting pattern of Muslims in Gujarat

2014: Congress- 67.10%, BJP- 15.70%, others- 17.1%
2009: Congress- 66.70%, BJP- 12.40%, others- 19.60%
2004: Congress- 61.90%, BJP- 18.60%, others- 19.60%
1999: Congress- 84.20%, BJP- 15.80%.