ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Facts and Fiction about How Muslims Vote in India

Evidence from Uttar Pradesh

Rahul Verma (rahulverma@berkeley.edu) and Pranav Gupta (pranav2208@gmail.com) are associated with Lokniti–Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi.

There is a widely held belief that Muslims in India vote en bloc and strategically to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This misconception has given rise to several wild theories about how Muslims participate in electoral arena—that they vote in large numbers, their decision of whom to vote for is influenced by clerics, they are more concerned about religious issues while voting, and are less supportive of India’s political institutions. This article presents a body of evidence using public opinion and election returns data from Uttar Pradesh to show that the political and electoral behaviour of Muslims is no different from that of any other major community in the state.

We thank Namita Gupta and Shreyas Sardesai for reading the first draft of this article. The discussions with Aaditya Dar, Anirvan Chowdhury and Anustubh Agnihotri were very helpful.

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