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Why the ‘Kabristan-Shamshan’ Comment After 3 Phases of Voting?

Even after four phases of voting, the Modi wave is missing and there seems to be no party with actual support.

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Prime Minister Modi at the Fatehpur rally. (Photo: PTI)
If you create a kabristaan (graveyard) in a village, then a shamshaan (cremation ground) should also be created. If electricity is given uninterrupted during Ramzan, then it should be given during Diwali without a break as well.
Narendra Modi during Fatehpur rally on 19 February

Can you find any sense in this odd statement from Prime Minister Modi? If not, then read on, as this is related  to the Muslim population of UP.

Yes. The following chart will give you a clear picture.

On 19 February, PM Modi made the ‘kabristan-shamshan’ comment. On the same day, UP voted for 209 seats out of a total of 403 seats in the third phase of the state elections. But more important than these seats was the religious profile of these places.

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For the first and the second phase, the Muslim population is about 25 percent in the 66 seats out of 140 seats that voted. Moreover, in the second phase, the number increases to about 55-60 percent for the 22 seats out of a total 40.

Favouring polarisation in the early phases of the voting would have had serious consequences for the BJP. The Muslim vote bank, that was spilt (if ever) between the Congress-SP alliance and the BSP, would have come together against BJP and this would have become difficult to handle.

However Adityanath, Sanjeev Balyan, Sakshi Maharaj and Sangeet Som have been openly polarising the state since the beginning of the elections. With Modi's comment, does it reflect as an open license for others too?

Looking beyond the fifth phase polls, then looking at the population of Muslims in next two phases, it is a clear ground.

  • The sixth phase, too, has Muslim population less than 25 percent.
  • Less than 10 percent Muslim population for 18 seats in this phase.
  • The seventh phase also has a Muslim population less than 25 percent.
  • Less than 10 percent Muslim population for 22 seats in this phase.

The majority of the population to vote next in UP are the Hindus, and even if the Muslims come together, it won't make a difference. Now do you understand the timing of PM Modi's comment?

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Speaking to The Quint, a BJP leader said:

BJP is fighting against SP-Congress and BSP at respective places. The Lotus is the common factor in all this. In most of the places, we are either at the number one spot or number two.

Even after four phases of voting, all the parties are still in a dilemma. The Modi wave is missing and there seems to be no party with actual support in their favour. The voter is silent. Therefore, BJP thinks that they can bring in the votes of non-Yadav OBC's and non-Dalit Hindus only by polarisation of votes.

This is what Modi tried to do with his ‘kabristan-shamshan’ comment. In the coming days, don't be shocked to hear yet another senior BJP leader using this same strategy in UP.

BJP announced its strategy from the very beginning by not electing any Muslim candidates to fight from any of the 400-plus seats. Now, the change in time and winds decide the next strategy. If you're wondering where did the ‘Sabka Saath- Sabka Vikaas’ slogan go, you will get your answer only after the UP elections.

(This story originally was originally published on QuintHindi.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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