MUMBAI: The BJP's attempt to polarise voters through the "crackers in Pakistan", Muslim quota and beef comments fuelled anger among Muslim voters, and they vented it by backing the Mahagathbandhan candidates en bloc, Times of India reported quoting community leaders.

"The hate campaign of the BJP left no doubt in the minds of the Muslim electorate that the BJP wanted to win Bihar to push its divisive agenda more vigorously. The community made no mistake and joined other secular forces to defeat the NDA candidates," said Zafrul Islam Khan, president, All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Indian Muslims. He added that the Bihar unit of his organisation, along with several other Muslim bodies, worked among the Muslim voters convincing them to vote for Grand Alliance candidates en block.

That the new entrant to Bihar MIM fought six seats but drew a blank also shows that Muslim voters rejected the Owaisi brothers' incendiary speeches and backed the Grand Alliance of RJD, JD (U) and Congress. "We appealed to the Muslims to avoid split of their votes and back candidates from Mahagathbandhan. This time there was no confusion among Muslim voters as all the three major claimants to their votes (JDU, RJD and Congress ) fought together. This led to consolidation of Muslim votes," said Patna-based Tehrik-e-Urdu president Kamaluz Zafar.

"From day one of the campaign the BJP gave the impression that it didn't need Muslim votes. Its leaders, including Narendra Modi, kept raising divisive issues. Muslims' sense of insecurity increased as the BJP tried to polarise the elections along community line. The community vented its anger against the BJP," observed Patna-based senior Urdu journalist and commentator Reyaz Azeemabadi.

Volunteers of several Muslim organisations toured Muslim pockets in the state seeking votes for Grand Allianced candidates. "We worked at grassroot level and told the Muslim voters why it was necessary to defeat the BJP in Bihar. The BJP had learnt no lesson from its defeat in Delhi and tried to stoke communal fires but it failed. Despite the provocation, the people remained calm and the community reposed its faith in Lalu-Nitish and Sonia Gandhi," said Masroor Ahmed of Zakat Foundation of India whose volunteers too campaigned among Muslim voters.