West Bengal is sending six Muslims to the 17th Lok Sabha — two less than the last general election. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress with five Muslim MPs has the most number of parliamentarians from the community in the state and the Congress one.
Of the five Trinamool members, Arambagh MP Aparupa Poddar, who retained her seat by a slender margin, accepted Islam after her marriage and is now known as Afrin Ali.
Bengali actress and Basirhat seat winner Nusrat Jahan Ruhi would make her parliamentary debut. Other two debutants from the community are Khalilur Rahman (Jangipur) and Abu Taher Khan (Murshidabad).
Sajda Ahmed from Uluberia also retained her seat.
Congress MP Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury retained his Maldaha South Lok Sabha Seat after a close fight.
Prominent Muslim MPs from Bengal of the outgoing Lok Sabha who bit the dust this time include Mausam Benazir Noor, who had won on a Congress ticket but joined the Trinamool only to go down to BJP’s Khagen Murmu.
CPI-M’s Mohammad Salim, a prominent speaker in the outgoing Lok Sabha, lost his security deposit from his old constituency Raiganj.
The outgoing 16th Lok Sabha had 23 Muslim MPs, the most being from the Congress and the Trinamool while the representation from the community in the 15th and 14th Lok Sabha was 30 and 34 respectively when the Congress-led UPA was in power.
The highest number of Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha was elected in 1980 (49). This fell to 42 in 1984.