All parties are in Bihar are making their best efforts to get Muslim votes in the Assembly election, irrespective of the social complexion of parties and alliances.
All eyes are on this community as it is expected to decide the outcome of the first phase of the election to 47 constituencies, which may suggest the trend in the next five phases of polling, which will culminate on November 20.
The focus is on Muslims’ reaction to the Ayodhya title suit verdict, as this is the first electoral test after the verdict of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.
The RJD and its ally, the LJP, the Congress and the JD (U) and even its ally, the BJP, are wooing the Muslims and have liberally given them ticket. The BSP too is seeking to intensify the struggle.
The BJP has fielded a JD(U)-sponsored candidate and for the first time has appealed to the minorities to vote for it. The Muslims have a choice to make in this three-way battle.
The Muslim voters are generally reticent but point to the critical stance of the Urdu papers on the Ayodhya verdict, the statements of their leaders and the group meetings where the Congress and the JD(U) come in for attack, and the arrest of BJP leader L.K. Advani by RJD chief Lalu Prasad during the rath yatra.
Political observers say Ayodhya is an issue and point out that shops had remained closed and roads%