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Fear of “Voter D” Label Leads Assam’s Muslims to the Polls en masse | India News

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GUWAHATI: Muslim voters in Assam, who make up 35% of the electorate, also make up the majority of voters who go to polling stations to vote in almost all elections.
One of the reasons they do so is the fear of being flagged as a “D (doubtful) voter” and possibly losing their rights. Also in the elections that just concluded, Muslim-dominated constituencies registered large numbers of voters.
The 34 constituencies in which they are the majority registered an average participation of 84%. In the remaining 92 electoral districts where the number of Muslim voters is negligible, the average voting percentage was 79%.
In this poll, the state’s median poll percentage was just over 82%, but seven districts with a concentration of Muslim voters reported turnout of over 90% and three others recorded just over 89%.
Among these 10 seats, four had been won by Congress and six by AIUDF in 2016. Azizur Rahman, minority student leader and former adviser to the Assam Minority Students Union (AMSU), which is contesting the Naoboicha seat, said the Muslim turnout on voting day had always been higher than voters in other communities because they were heavily influenced by parties and candidates.
“Unlike other people, Muslims (Bengali-speaking immigrants) have less education, are poor and make their decisions collectively,” Rahman said. “There is one more reason why they always come out in large quantities. They live in fear… if they don’t vote they will be marked as ‘D voters’ on the electoral rolls, ”he added.
Hafizur Rahman (26) has never missed an election and has voted for the fifth time this year. A voter from Jania’s constituency, Hafizur, traveled more than 150 kilometers to his home to vote because he fears that if he does not vote, there will be a D mark before his name on the electoral roll.

Times of India

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