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Does the vote bank politics work these days?
The attempt by the Uttar Pradesh government to withdraw charges against some political leaders belonging to minority community, who are accused of instigating violence during Muzaffarnagar riots, is a clear cut case of minority appeasement. This is exactly similar to BJP's way of appeasing majority community by honouring one of the accused leaders belonging to this community.

Point is whether such appeasements or vote-bank politics really work? Lalu Yadav was practicing such thing and it was famously said that his MY (Muslim-Yadav) combination is unbeatable! However, he tasted defeated. Ram Vilas Paswan gone ahead! Earlier in 2004 he campaigned while taking a look alike of Osama-Bin-Laden along. I never understand what his intention was. Did he try to project that Muslims are Osama's followers? Did they support terrorism?

Result was a hung assembly in Bihar. The number was such that LJP was at the king maker's position. He demanded Lalu Yadav to install a Muslim Chief Minister in Bihar so as to get the support of LJP. Lalu denied (although that was the golden opportunity for a Muslim to be a chief minister of Bihar!) and Lalu’s intention was clear, he will do all lip service to his vote bank and but never empower them neither improve their condition.

On the other side, LJP asked JD(U) to leave BJP but numbers were not enough. Thus after Buta Singh’s controversial rule, when re-elections occurred, RJD reduced to a poor strength and LJP was wiped out. All such appeasement tactics didn’t work, because the minority community realized the vote bank politics. They didn’t pardon Paswan for projecting Osama as a role-model for Indian Muslims, neither trusted Lalu Yadav, who didn’t allow a Muslim to be a chief minister.

In UP too, Muslims never supported any single party. Their support changes regularly from Congress, SP, BSP etc. Whenever they feel that a particular party is using them for vested interests, they left that party.

These are couple of examples and I feel there would be lot of examples. In fact the Muslim community has a perception that BJP is their enemy. They have the right to think so and there are many anti- Muslim voices in BJP, so one can justify such perception. They have lost trust in non-BJP parties. Every other party is using them as a vote-bank commodity, does lip service and then ditch them.

One Muslim friend was telling me the other day, that whatever might be the slight improvement occurred in that community, it’s because of their own effort. If Muslim individuals achieve success; it’s because of their individual effort only. None of such parties ever helped them in growing up! In fact such vote bank politics some times goes against the minority interest.

For example, the blatant show of appeasement always discomforts the majority religion. Though not reactive, but such discontents remains stored continually due regular shows. In an opportune moment extremist from either side or both the sides combined provoke people from either or both the sides.

Majority public’s sentiment blasts off by some sensitive event or so and finally majority backlash occurs. Scores of innocent people are killed.

However, I feel that such tricks are no more workable, thanks to the presence of media nowadays! Public too understands this. For Muslim community AAP would be a blessing, which has not yet played any vote bank politics. Else in the line of Akali Dal, there must be a religion based party for Muslims, which can go for condition based alliance with any party including BJP.

Finally, I don’t think nowadays vote bank politics has any effect even in rural belts. People are asserting themselves. Thus its better that those parties, who consider vote bank politics is still redeemable, do the home-work again! The minorities will now ask how and when, to your whatever parroted false promises!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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